Operatives of the Ogun State Police Command have rescued a mentally-ill man mistaken for kidnapper at Oke-Lantoro, in the Abeokuta-South Local Government Area of the state.
Residents of the area were said to have mistook a mentally-ill man for a kidnapper and beat him to a pulp after he was sighted loitering around some school children around 8am on Tuesday.
According to PUNCH, the residents reportedly accused him of attempting to kidnap the schoolchildren, an allegation he could not deny.
The victim was about to be set ablaze when the police arrived at the scene and saved him.
PUNCH reports that a passerby, Nasir Alabi, said, “I got there when he was about to be beaten; he didn’t look like a mad man. I think those who beat him didn’t pay attention to his sanity.
“It was a pathetic case because people who didn’t know what his offence was also joined the mob for no just reason. I felt sorry for him because it took the insistence of the police to take him away from the scene where he had already been tied as some youths were insisting on setting him ablaze.”
Another eyewitness, who identified himself as Habib, said the victim initially responded well to questions, adding that the torture might have affected his sanity.
Habib said, “I was shocked because he wasn’t like that when people started beating him. When the police were taking him away from that place, I really felt like crying. Our people are fond of jungle justice. If not for the police, he might have been set on fire and killed.”
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the incident said that the victim was mentally unstable.
Oyeyemi said “Jungle justice is returning to Ogun State and we have been warning our people. Recently, we all saw what happened in the Oja-Odan area of the state, where two suspects were set ablaze. Anyone caught in such an act will not go unpunished.”
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