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*Victims almost lynched, vehicle set on fire

By Esther Onyegbula

A grandmother and three adults who were rescued from a mob Wednesday  evening in Lagos, over allegations of kidnapping 12 children, have denied being kidnappers and ritualists.

Rather, they explained that the children were theirs. They also stated that they were returning from a beach where they had gone to perform some sacrifices.

Recall that the victims  were almost lynched by an irate mob on  Eko Bridge, Lagos Island ,after they were accused of kidnapping the 12  children  whose ages were between seven months and 12 years.

 Curious Lagosians  stopped the vehicle  conveying the adults and children and requested to know their destination. A mob which  gathered,  descended on the four adults , when some people raised the alarm that the adults were kidnappers.

Explanation by the victims that the children were theirs fell on deaf ears as the mob set the vehicle they drove in ,on fire .

 But for the timely arrival of a police team from Ebute-Ero division and the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, the victims would have  been set ablaze alongside their vehicle.

News of the incident went viral on social media, stating that the victims were kidnappers and ritualists.

 An  eyewitness, Adesina Tunde said , “I witnessed the scene on my way back from work. I saw people gathered, so I stopped  to know what was happening. I  was told they kidnapped some young children. Luckily police arrived at the nick of time to rescue the suspects from the mob who were bailing for blood.”

The  Lagos State Police spokesman, SP  Benjamin Hundeyin, condemned the act of jungle justice.

 He said among the victims was a woman who identified herself as  grandmother of one of the children.

Preliminary investigation, according to him, “shows that they were  coming from the beach where they allegedly went to make some sacrifices. The adults also explained that the children were their children and grandchildren.”

 “Meanwhile the case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department Yaba Panti for further investigations”.

  While reiterating the stance of the Command against jungle justice, Hundeyin,said  anyone found engaging in such would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

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