Some residents of Omuo Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti East Local Government Area of Ekiti State, have allegedly beaten to death a middle-aged man accused of attempting to kidnap a boy in the area.
The police command in the state has since confirmed the incident, warning residents of the state against taking laws into their hands by illegally applying jungle justice on suspects.
According to local sources, the incident occurred in the Iludofin area of Omuo Ekiti on Saturday.
It was alleged that the deceased attempted to kidnap a seven-year-old boy and was caught in the act by angry youth in the area.
The sources added that the incident occurred a few minutes after 2.00 p.m when the pupils were returning from a school programme.
It was further learnt that a man who saw the suspect grab the boy and forcefully drag him into a nearby bush, raised the alarm.
Following his alarm, many of the residents, mostly youth, started trooping to the scene and pounced on the suspect and beat him into a coma.
“The suspect was trailing the boy home from school. When he realised that he had reached a bushy footpath, he pounced on him and started dragging him into the bush,” according to locals.
“But a man who was looking from afar raised an alarm and the people caught him in the act and beat him.”
The police command in Ekiti State, while confirming the incident, affirmed that the deceased was beaten to the point of death by the residents.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the command, Sunday Abutu, said the man died immediately he got to the police station.
Mr Abutu said it was one of the chiefs at Iludofin quarters that reported the case to the police, and his men acted promptly.
The spokesperson said “The mob action was very thick, but the police tried and rescued him and the intention was to first take him to the station for cover before rushing him to the hospital for medical attention.
“Unfortunately, he died in the station as a result of the severe beating,” he said.
He said the corpse of the deceased had since been deposited in the morgue at the General Hospital, Omuo Ekiti, while investigation into the matter had commenced.
He cautioned people of the state against taking the laws into their hands and embarking on acts of jungle justice, saying every suspect is presumed innocent until found guilty.
The command also advised that any suspect henceforth arrested should be handed over to the police for investigation and prosecution, rather than applying penalty by themselves.
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