In a bizzare case of jungle justice, two men suspected to be thieves were stoned by a mob in Lagos. The unidentified duo were said to have stolen a phone around the Sabo, Yaba area of the state. The deceased were said to have attacked a 79-year-old man, Pa Emmanuel Thomas, and robbed him of his phones, etc.
According to reports:
“I was in my room and a guest was in my sitting room. But because there was no electricity, I opened the main doors for cross ventilation. A few minutes later, two young guys barged into the house.
“One of them slapped my female guest who was in the sitting room and snatched her phone and charger, the other guy told me to give him all my money and I told him all I had was N30 which was kept inside my Bible. They also snatched my telephone and wristwatch.”
Prior to the robbery, youths in the area had been suspicious of the alleged robbers, wondering what the strange men wanted on their street at that odd hour. One of the youths, who craved anonymity, said:
“Around 3.30am, I was returning from a carnival when I noticed two strange faces on Little Road. When the guys saw me, they pretended to be fixing an abandoned bus and were talking as if they were a bus driver and his conductor waiting for daybreak.
When I walked past, they continued to roam the street, so I informed one of my friends and together, we tailed them. Suddenly, they entered Pa Thomas’s house and then I heard the elderly man screamed for help.
We quickly surrounded the house and dared the robbers to come out. When they saw that they were trapped, one of them jumped the fence into the next compound which is on Little Road. I was able to arrest one, while the other one escaped.”
The arrested robber was beaten up to a pulp. Then an hour later, the second robber, who hid inside another compound, was exposed by a resident and was also handed over to the irate youths. The youths beat up the two robbers mercilessly.
When the residents were asked why they did not involve the police, one of them said:
“On that day, there was a serious crisis at a neighbouring community, Iwaya, and most of the policemen from Sabo Division had diverted all their attention to the area. Also, these robbers usually hang around a brothel located on a neighbouring street. If we hand them over to the police, they will be released and come back to terrorise us.”
It was learnt that the alleged robbers, who were still alive, were stripped naked and dumped on the Sabo end of the Herbert Macaulay Way, about 200 metres from the Sabo Police Division. It was, however, learnt that passers-by pelted the alleged robbers with stones until they died.
A resident of McNeil, Sola, said:
“It was not our intention to kill the robbers, we only beat them up and dumped them by the road side. However, when passers-by learnt of what they had done, many of them picked up rocks and stoned them to death.”
It was learnt that by the time policemen arrived around 9am, the alleged robbers were already dead.