#SayNoToJungleJustice: Outrage Trails Killing of ‘7-Year-Old’ in Lagos

Nigerians are demanding justice for the seven-year-old boy who was lynched for stealing garri.

A video which went virile on social media showed group of people beating, stoning and finally setting a boy between the ages 7-16 ablaze.

“So the best option was to burn this boy because he stole garri. I need a better look at all those murderers watching him die. This is just sad,” @Franklytwits tweeted.

Miss Daniella @Dani__Keri in a separate tweet @Dani_keri said, “I am shocked that people are justifying this act, at age 7,17 or 71 we should all #SayNoToJungleJustice . Nobody is old enough to be lynched!”

Another social media user wrote, “He was allegedly just seven years of age. He was hungry. It was garri (cassava flakes) he stole. He stole to eat it, not save it in the bank. Yes! They caught him. Beat him up blue and black. He laid there weeping and wailing. He was now bearing not just the hunger pains in his stomach but also the endless beating. “He cried out. He searched through the crowd for a saviour. A heaven sent. One who has felt his type of hunger. One who can say ‘he was just 7 years old and hungry’.

“But no! There was no saviour. Just righteous judges. People who have never stolen in their life. People who have never been hungry. And while he was still searching for help. Hoping for one last miracle from heaven.

“The beatings died down. He sighed, it has ended. He thought he was going to be set free.”

The official story differs

As the story of the man lynched by a mob in Lagos continues to dominate the front pages, various accounts of the story continue to emerge. Initial reports that the victim was a 7-year old boy were dismissed by the Nigerian Police and a lawyer who works with the Joint Action Aid has shared the details of the incident on Facebook.

Read his account below:

The true account of the young man lynched and summarily burnt to death at Orile Iganmu last Saturday speaks of the uncertainty and brevity of human life in Nigeria. It was Saturday, the 11th day of November 2016. The venue of this macabre killing orgy was at Augustine Onwualu Street, Orile Iganmu, Lagos.

A woman, (name withheld) was walking along the ever busy road of Augustine Onwualu street, Orile Iganmu. She had an Infinix Hotnote 2 handset with which she was making telephone calls in high pitched voice, frantically gesticulating in the process. Close by, on the same street were a gang of 4 notorious thieves, well known in the area for their dare devilry and viciousness. They were there, waiting, prowling and surveying the entire scenery for a vulnerable victim to rob and dispossessed of their valuables as they often do in the past. And successfully too.

“The woman approached. Still talking on the phone and gesticulating with her free arm. She was immediately spotted by the very perceptive eyes of this criminal gang. A brief conference amongst them, she was adjudged a soft target. There was no need for further plans or careful surveillance. After all they had done this successfully in the past. More so, their sheer ferocity makes them a sort of feared mobster in the local vicinity. But it turned out to be a miscalculation. And costly one at that!

“They approached and circled the woman who was oblivious of her surrounding and the imminent attack on her person. The robbery attack was swift and very decisive. She was held from behind by two members of the gang. One of them deftly pruned her hand bag off her shoulder and the same time attempted to retrieved the telephone with which she was making calls from her other arm. The last of the gang stood guard, providing cover for the others.

“They had during their planning stage misjudged the desperation of a Nigerian woman about to be dispossessed. The victim reacted swiftly. She let the hand free and held on tenaciously to her phone. A struggle ensued. The victim plaintively cried out for help. A motley crowd gathered. The other members of the gang, appropriately appraising the situation fled the scene. The fourth member was not so lucky. He continued to engage in an internecine struggle with victim for the phone. In desperation, he brought out a dagger, and cold blooded stabbed the woman repeatedly in the chest, stomach and shoulder. There is a proverb, when a strong animal flirts too much with the trap, he makes his meat available for children to share with teeth.

“The gathered crowd became enraged and promptly apprehended the abandoned thief. He was beaten to stupor, Tied up and set ablaze while the maddening crowd continued to bay for his blood.

“Joint Action Aid was alerted on Monday when video clips of the dastardly murder went viral on social media. We reported the yet another resort to “jungle justice” to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos state. The video clips were carefully analysed and some arrest made. The six people arrested through our efforts denied criminal culpability and brought fast talking lawyers.

A note from Chief Oyibo:  We ask our readers to understand our decision to use such a graphic image in this piece.  We would not normally publish something this disturbing but the subject of this story is not a new one and this type of justice needs to end. #SayNoToJungleJustice

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