A man and his girlfriend were, on Wednesday, stripped by an angry mob for allegedly killing two yet-to-be-identified young men in Ihiala, a community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The identities of the two suspects were still unclear as of the time this report was filed.
A video clip, which showed the suspects being paraded naked, has been circulating on various WhatsApp groups.
In the clip, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, the suspects were spotted carrying the victims in a wheelbarrow to an unknown destination while the mob hurled abuses, accusing them of killing them to perform a ritual.
The victims were lying lifeless in the wheelbarrow with blood stains on their bodies.
The mob claimed the suspects were engaged in internet fraud, locally referred to as “Yahoo Yahoo.”
“Yahoo Yahoo (people). Because you want to make money, see people you have killed,” a voice was heard speaking in Igbo in the clip’s background.
“They – a man and a woman – killed the people for a money ritual. They are internet fraudsters,” the voice added.
While one suspect pushed the wheelbarrow, the other assisted by pulling a rope tied in front of the barrow, apparently to ease movement.
However, the police in Anambra State said, contrary to the claims by the mob, what happened was not a case of ritual killing but a “pure incident of murder.”
In a statement on Thursday, the police spokesperson in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga, said the police rescued the two suspects while they were about to be lynched by the mob at a junction in the community.
“Preliminary information reveals that the two – a man and a woman – who were humiliated and paraded as shown in the video by the angry mob were erroneously accused by the mob as they were seen at the scene where the murder took place,” Mr Ikenga, a deputy superintendent of police, said without giving details.
The police spokesperson said the suspects were already receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital while the corpses had been deposited in a morgue.
The Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, Echeng Echeng, has ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation Department in Awka for investigation, Mr Ikenga said.
Mr Echeng appealed to residents of the area to remain calm and law-abiding.
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