Two brothers, Joseph Ogugom and Paul Ogugom, escaped death by the whiskers at the weekend at the Lawanson area of Lagos when they were attacked by an angry mob who mistook them for kidnappers.
According to the police, one of the men, Joseph, had allegedly asked his younger brother, Paul, to help him take his sick wife to the hospital.
It was learnt that the woman, identified as Justina, however, raised an alarm that she was being abducted by her husband and his brother who intended using her and her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter for money ritual.
The persistent screaming of the woman in the vehicle the brothers were using to convey her along Lawanson Road was said to have attracted the attention of members of the public who descended on both men.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, who confirmed the incident, said that the incident occurred on June 6, 2019.
Elkana said that on the said date at about 12.45pm, the command’s control room received a distress call that a mob action was going on at Lawanson junction, Itire.
He said that based on the strength of the report, an anti-crime patrol team led by the Divisional Police Officer, Itire, Chief Superintendent Odey Ogah, was promptly deployed to the scene.
He added that at the scene, Justina Emmanuel, of No. 10, Bishop Okogie Street, Ago, Itire, and her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Munachisom Agugom, were rescued from the occupants of one Honda CRV.
Elkana said that at the scene, Joseph and Paul of the same address were with Justina.
“Both Joseph Agugom and Paul Agugom were being lynched by members of the public who thought they were ritualists. The two men were rescued from the mob. They were alleged to have kidnapped the victims for ritual purposes. One Honda CRV car registration no. FST 587 BU, one LG phone, one iPhone, one bag containing two flasks, three pieces of rope, one black paramilitary belt and one green beret were recovered,” he added.
Elkana said that preliminary investigation the police carried out revealed that Justina was, indeed, married to Joseph, and Munachisom belonged to both of them.
He said that it was also revealed that the victim was suffering from mental illness and was being taken to a hospital when she raised the false alarm which attracted some members of the public.
“The mob who mistook them for ritualists as alleged by the woman stopped the car and descended on the suspects. Members of both the supposed suspects and victims’ family came to the station and made statements to the effect that the victim is suffering from mental illness and was actually being transported to hospital.
“The other two children of the victim, with her husband, were brought to the station, contrary to the allegations of the victim that they were killed by the husband for money ritual. The victim was taken to a hospital by the police for medical examination. The police have launched a manhunt for those who participated in the mob action with a view of bringing them to justice. Members of the public are strongly advised to be more careful and not to jump into conclusions on alarm raised by anybody,” he warned.