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No Boy Burnt in Lagos for Stealing Garri, Police Insist

As confusion rages over the real identity of the victim of jungle justice meted out to an alleged robber in Lagos State, The Guardian reports that the police yesterday refuted the news of the lynching of a seven-year-old boy for stealing garri in the Badagry area of Lagos.

Reports and videos making the rounds on social media since Wednesday had indicated that the boy was set ablaze after being beaten up. The reports caused outrage with many Nigerians calling for an investigation into the incident and an end to jungle justice.

A video of the report showed a lone man hitting, repeatedly, a bloodied man lying on the ground with what looked like a vehicle part, and later a large stone.

However, the Lagos State Police Command yesterday disclosed that there was no clue to show that a seven-year-old boy was lynched for stealing garri as alleged.

Spokesperson of the command, Dolapo Badmos, in a statement noted that preliminary discrete investigation carried out disclosed that there was no such incident in Orile and Badagry areas of Lagos.

“The command in the early hours of Wednesday came across the above report through social media. Although there are different versions about the location of the incident, a version of the report stated that it occurred in Orile while another indicated that it happened in Badagry.

“At the receipt of this complaint, the Commissioner of Police, CP Fatai Owoseni, directed the Divisional Police Officers (DPO’s) in charge of those jurisdictions to ascertain the occurrence and brief the command. As at today (Thursday), there is nothing to suggest that it occurred in any of the aforementioned locations or any part of Lagos.”

Also, the police complaint unit, headed by Mr. Abayomi Shogunle, in its twitter handle @YomiShogunle, said there was no truth in the purported lynching.

He, however, noted that an “adult male corpse” was recovered at the Orile area of Lagos and the remains had been deposited at the mortuary for autopsy.

While some residents of Badagry have said no such incident happened in the area, The Guardian gathered the incidence of a jungle justice occurred in the early hours of last Saturday at Alafia, near Orile-Iganmu, in Lagos.

The corpse, now in an advanced stage of decomposition, laid near the rail track at Alafia bus stop, and passersby were seen covering their noses to keep away the putrefying odour.

People who have business in the area declined to talk about it for fear of being arrested by the police.

But multiple witnesses, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the dead victim was not “a small boy,” but an adult who was a member of a three-man robbery gang.

A commercial motorcyclist at Alafia bus-stop said he watched as the mob descended on the alleged thief before a passenger came and took him away.

“There were three of them. This one that died was the one that snatched the bag of somebody who was travelling and gave to his colleagues,” he said.

“The owner of the bag held on to him and they were struggling, he stabbed the man but he still held him until people came and started chasing him and caught him.”



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Copyright 2015 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to and other relevant sources.

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