Kidnappers’ den discovered in Lagos, mob set two suspects ablaze

Lagos residents uncover kidnappers’ den, set two suspects ablaze

Afeez Hanafi

Obadeyi – Ijaiye end of the Lagos -Abeokuta Expressway was home to a mammoth crowd on Tuesday following the discovery of a suspected kidnappers ’ den in the area.

Clothes , slippers , bags , among other items , were reportedly found in an uncompleted building at the end of a tunnel in the area .

The crowd laid siege to the hideout from 7 am till evening , during which five persons , suspected to be kidnappers and ritual killers , were accosted while trying to escape from the tunnel , which was part of a canal in the area .
Two of them were set ablaze by a mob while policemen rescued three others from the scene.

PUNCH Metro learnt that a highway sweeper with the Lagos State Waste Management Agency was on morning duty when she heard the voice of a woman calling for help from the canal .

The sweeper was said to have raised the alarm, which drew the attention of residents and security guards attached to a bank along the expressway.

The canal linked the two sides of the expressway.

A resident , Bola Salaudeen , explained that as people maintained vigilance at both sides , one of the suspects came out around 8 am .

Salaudeen said , “ People asked him what he was doing in the canal , but he insisted he would not say anything about his mission there. They demanded to know the whereabouts of the woman calling for help; he said he would never divulge any information even if they killed him .

“ Despite the beating he got , he didn ’ t disclose any information . Some angry boys put a tyre on him and set him ablaze. As the fire raged on , another suspect came out from the other end of the canal . He said they were about 20 in the canal . The policemen did not allow him to say more than that before they took him away . Around 12 pm , two other persons fled from the canal . People chased and caught them. They were also rescued by the police . ”

A mechanic , who identified himself only as Friday, said some members of the Oodua People ’ s Congress eventually summoned up courage and went into the canal .

“ They discovered that there was a gate in the middle of covered area of the canal . They saw another suspect there. They dragged him out and a mob set him ablaze. We believe more people are still in the canal , ” he added .

Our correspondent heard a man at the scene of the incident saying the abducted woman was almost unconscious by the time she came out and was rushed to a hospital .

He , however , refused to speak further when our correspondent approached him .

But other eyewitnesses, who spoke with PUNCH Metro , said no woman was rescued.

One of them, Sumbo Kolade , said people wanted to storm an uncompleted building beside the canal after some human effects were discovered there.

He said , “Policemen didn ’ t allow people to enter the building . New clothes , slippers , bags and some other items were found there . It is possible those items are effects of victims they had abducted.

“ The mob threw stones and bottles at the building . In the process , an object hit a man , who wanted to have a glance at the items inside the building . The object inflicted a cut on his back . ”

Our correspondent was told that the occupants of the ground floor of a two – storeyed building at the back of the uncompleted building had moved out because of flood .

However , those who live on the other floors declined comments when our correspondent asked if they were aware of any unlawful activities in the vicinity .

A shop owner , Amira Gbadebo, said , “ The police should interrogate residents living around that canal . A lout who managed to enter the building said he saw bloodstains on some clothes found there . I was surprised that criminals could be hiding in a canal . Their victims are usually people who go out early in the morning and return home late . ”

A community leader , who did not want his name in print , said a similar discovery was made at Ahmadiyya bus stop – some distance away from Obadeyi – in 2008 .

He said , “When some of the suspects were arrested then , they claimed that they had killed a lot of people and that they supplied their body parts to some highly placed Nigerians . ”

As of 7 pm , a resident told PUNCH Metro on the telephone that the crowd had not dispersed , adding that senior police officers had been visiting the scene .

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police , Fatai Owoseni , who visited the scene , said the police would carry out scientific investigation on the items recovered , adding that it was too early to say that the tunnel and the building were used for ritual or kidnapping purposes.

He said , “At about 9 am , there was a shout from a female in distress under that tunnel . The people in the area contacted the DPO who rushed to the scene .

“ The DPO and the crowd removed the woman. While they were doing that , they found out that two persons were also coming out from the tunnel .

“ They believed those people were pursuing the woman. When the police wanted to take them into custody , the crowd surged and put fire on them. A policeman was badly injured .

“ Reinforcement got there and trailed that tunnel to the building , where they saw clothes and bags . The building looks like a place where criminals share their loot.

“ About seven persons that emerged from that building are in custody now . It became necessary that we do a thorough scientific profiling of the place. We have to send our sniffer dogs to the place . We have appealed to the crowd that jungle justice is not the way . ”
Source: The Punch

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