By Evelyn Usman & Emmanuel Agha
LAGOS—A ‘lunatic,’ suspected member of a kidnap and ritualist gang was, yesterday, set ablaze by a mob, following the discovery of the gang’s den in Mushin area of Lagos.
Two other suspected members of the gang, who also disguised as lunatics, were rescued from the mob by the Police.
Recovered from the suspects were 100 syringes, most of them with blood stains. Other items recovered from them were expensive phones and four Automated Teller Machines, ATM, cards.
There were, however, different accounts as to how a tunnel used as the suspects’ den was uncovered.
A version of the account said that one of the suspects was sighted dragging a female victim inside the tunnel at Challenge Bus Stop, Tuesday morning, following which the alarm was raised, alerting passers-by.
The female victim was reportedly rescued, while the suspect, said to be dressed like a mad woman was arrested while attempting to escape through the tunnel.
On closer observation, eyewitnesses said the suspect turned out to be a man, wearing bloodstained clothes.
A mob descended on him when he could not provide answers to questions bothering on where he was taking the victim to.
A blood-filled syringe
Another version stated that the blood stain on the supposed lunatic’s shirt attracted commuters, who subjected him to interrogation during which a syringe filled with blood was found on him.
On further interrogation, he was said to have confessed not to be a mad man, but revealed that his members used the tunnel as their den.
Another eyewitness further stated that prior to his lynching, he confessed that other members of his gang were still inside the tunnel, leading to a search of the den, during which over 100 syringes, including used and unused ones, were recovered.
At times, we see 5 lunatics around the tunnel— Eyewitness
An eyewitness, Gbemiga Olatona, who spoke with Vanguard at the scene, said: “We have been seeing one of them around this vicinity for a while. We thought she was a madwoman.
“What baffled us was that she will disappear for a while and reappear again. Along the line, two other madmen joined her. At times, they would be up to five lunatics sitting at the edge of the tunnel.
“It was not until today (yesterday) that we discovered that the madwoman is not mad after all and not even a woman.
“When some OPC members entered the den, it was discovered that the tunnel links to other parts of Lagos. A company that has been abandoned is at one end of it; the tunnel is another world of its own.
“Before the man was lynched, he confessed not been a madman. He said members of his gang usually took their victims from this bus stop to a location inside the tunnel. But he did not say what they do to them.
“He also said they used the syringe to inject their victims before dragging them inside the tunnel. Some of them escaped through the other end of the den (tunnel).”