Less than a week after a woman accused by a mob of kidnapping children was lynched along Emir’s Road in Ilorin, Kwara State, another woman was again burnt to death by an angry mob on Tuesday night in the ancient city over the same allegation.
Two others were also rescued by the prompt arrival of policemen from being lynched at the Saw Mill Garage area of the state capital on the same Tuesday, prompting the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Ambrose Aisabo to issue a warning against further descent into jungle justice by residents.
Eyewitness accounts indicated that the first incident took place on the popular Oyun Bridge on the way to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. The woman, who was burnt beyond recognition, was alleged to have ‘confessed’ that she was in league with a team of other kidnappers who had been given a mandate to kidnap a given number of children.
It was further claimed that the woman ‘confessed’ to have succeeded in kidnapping five children from the same area and was on the way to taking the sixth when some people who suspected her movements accosted her. Being unable to give satisfactory answers to their questions, they were said to have raised alarm which attracted a number of crowd who eventually lynched her.
But the other two women who were accosted around Saw Mill area were however lucky as the police arrived on time to save them from being killed. Police spokesman in the state, Mr. Ajayi Okasina, confirmed the two incidents.
Meanwhile the police late on Tuesday issued a terse statement warning against attacking people who are likely having mental challenges and are being mistaken for ritualists. The statement, signed by Okasina, reads: “The commissioner of Police Kwara State Police Command Ambrose Aisabor wishes to appeal and at the same time warn members of the public who have found the habit of taking the law into their hands and meeting jungle justice to people suspected to be kidnappers who are in most cases wrongfully so suspected to stop this irresponsible act immediately.
“Henceforth, the Command will not shirk in its responsibilities to deal with any individual/group of people caught in such acts of unbridled lawlessness. Men and women of unsound minds are not necessarily agents of ritualists so be warned. For the purpose of emphasis, any suspected person is to be reported or handed over to the Police if arrested.”
An irate mob had last week Friday lynched a middle-aged woman suspected to be a kidnapper after she allegedly snatched a toddler from her mother. Another version claimed that the woman had been found with eight toddlers before she was nabbed by some members of the public.
One eyewitness account narrated that the woman whose identity could not be ascertained was rounded up by some youths who later and descended on her; beating her to a pulp and set her ablaze. The incident occurred along the popular Emir’s Road, at a point not far from Opo-Malu junction and, caused panic among residents, shop owners, commuters and pedestrians some of whom immediately closed their shops.