There has been controversy surrounding the brutal murder of a suspected thief by angry mob in Lagos and the raging issue has refused to die down.
At first, it was reported that the incident took place in the Badagry area of Lagos State and that the victim was a seven-year-old boy who broke into a shop to steal Garri.
Another version of the story had it that the incident happened in the Orile area and that the suspect was not a seven-year-old boy but a member of a gang who robs and maim their victims, sometimes even stabbing them to death.
The State Police Command had also come out with various refutations on the story, initially denying that the incident took place in the state, before saying it has begun investigations into the matter.
But Punch has punctured holes into the various speculations as an investigation has revealed that the mob action actually took place at Alafia Bus Stop on Orile and the victim was accused of stealing a wallet.
According to an eyewitness who identified himself as Nzekwe, the victim was a member of a notorious gang of robbers who had operated in the area for years until nemesis caught up with him.
Nzekwe narrated how it happened:
“It happened at the Alafia bus stop on Saturday. The teenage boy was trying to steal someone’s wallet. The teenager was said to have come with three other friends. But the victim held the teenager and raised the alarm.
The other accomplices escaped when the teenager was caught. The victim held him. The mob descended on the teenager and beat him until he collapsed.
One of the hoodlums got a tyre and the mob set fire to the brutalized teenager.”
Another witness, Harrison, seemed to corroborate what Nzekwe said as he took to his Facebook wall to allege that the deceased belonged to a robbery gang which usually stabbed victims who refused to part with their property.
“My house is near the scene of the incident. Alafia bus stop is notorious for phone thieves. I lost my younger brother to the thieves in January 2016.
He was 20-years-old and was coming back from a rehearsal when he was attacked by the thieves at that bus stop.
He was holding his friend’s Samsung Galaxy Tab. They stabbed him in the neck and my brother collapsed. He was rushed to a hospital, but he died minutes later.
On Saturday, I was going somewhere when I witnessed the lynching of the thief at that same bus stop. I am against lynching, but this particular incident is very personal to me.
I do not support jungle justice but these teenage criminals are ready to kill during their robbery operations.”
Despite the claims by the witnesses, the State Police Command still claims ignorance of what happened, with the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Dolapo Badmos insisting that the police does not believe that the incident happened or that it was in Lagos.