The police in Adamawa on Sunday confirmed the killing of three suspected criminals by a mob in Yola.
Residents of the area also told PREMIUM TIMES how the suspected criminals were apprehended and lynched.
Suleiman Nguroje, the Adamawa police spokesperson, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the three persons were suspected members of a crime group called Shila Boys.
Mr Nguroje said that the incident occurred at 9.00 p.m. on Saturday in Nassarawo area of Jimeta.
“We received a distress call that Shila Boys attacked and robbed some people and were later attacked by a mob while attempting to escape.
“Our personnel, who arrived at the scene later, met the suspects in a pool of their blood; they were taken to a hospital where medical officers confirmed them dead,” he said.
The police spokesman said that members of the group, mainly made up of young men of ages 15 to 25, disguise as commercial tricycle operators within the city.
“They take passengers and rob them in the process, they use dangerous weapons to attack and rob their passengers,” he said.
Mr Nguroje said that although no arrest had been made, the state commissioner of police had directed a thorough investigation into the matter.
He urged residents of the state to avoid unlawful acts and support the police to ensure the adequate fight against crime.
“Criminals are advised to repent or face the full weight of the law,” he said.
How suspects were caught – Residents
Residents said the suspects were caught while trying to snatch the handbags of some passersby.
‘’The Shilla boys were caught around 9 p.m. this Saturday while trying to snatch bags and mobile phones of some women who were coming out of the Specialist Hospital,” a witness who asked not to be named for fear of arrest said Sunday morning.
“They were chased by angry passersby and were caught near microfinance bank.
“They were killed instantly to serve as a deterrence,” he added.
The suspects had earlier reportedly attacked some shops along Bauchi street and Damilu during which they snatched phones and valuables and inflicted injuries on some residents.
“It seems these Shila boys are on a rampage and have changed tactics because from snatching handbags or phones they are now robbing people,” a resident of the area, Grace John, told PREMIUM TIMES.
“This Saturday, they wreaked havoc at one chemist along Bauchi street here in Jimeta.
“They snatched about six phones and injured six victims,” Ms John said.
Speaking on the repeated attacks by the Shila boys, a public affairs commentator, Mustapha Ribadu, said: “This Shilla boys epidemic is going out of hand, Jimeta and Yola no safer.’’
Another Yola resident, Ijai Mamza, suggested a base where the criminals operate from.
“It seems Shila boys headquarters now is Damilu’s, opposite gate of air force quarters guard.
“They are operating at free will, unchallenged, snatching phones and valuables and inflicting injuries on their victims.
‘’I am calling on the local authorities to act as a matter of urgency to curb the activities of these satanic groups in the state capital Yola.’’
Also speaking, a public school teacher who simply identified himself as Mallam Baba said, “the Shila boys are sons, our brothers, our neighbours, and our siblings.”
“The time of blames games are over, we are not going to hold our hands and wait for the government and security agencies to tackle the situation alone. Yes it is a government responsibility to protect our lives and property, but we have to give our on quota.
‘’Like I said, Jimeta is falling! Indeed it is, for the past five years Jimeta is experiencing this issue of Shila boys.
‘’Killing them is not the solution, the solution is we must work together, our stakeholders must sit down together with our traditional institution the likes of Masu Anguwanni, Masu Jimillu, and thank God our amiable Hakimi-District head is already doing his best interns of curtailing the situation.
“Please if you know that your son, brother or your neighbour is among those boys, please report him to the nearest security instead of him being killed by a mob,” Mr Baba said.
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