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Jungle Justice in Nigeria: Twitter User Shares How His Cousin was Almost Lynched to Death at a Market

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Jungle justice is becoming rampant in the Nigerian society these days, and it’s troubling. Almost every week, at least a story of how one suspected criminal was lynched makes its way to the media, and this excludes other cases that go unreported.

More recently, photos of a young man who was beaten and burnt to death by a mob went viral on social media.

While some claimed he was 7-years old and was lynched because he stole Garri (a staple food), others claimed he was a 20-year-old notorious armed robber who was part of a gang terrorising the area. Either way, taking laws into our own hands is wrong.

The whole attack was even filmed, and you could hear fellow Nigerians shout “hit him very well” in the background.

This story shared by a Twitter user following this latest case sheds more light on why cases like this should be allowed to be handled by the appropriate authorities.

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24 Comments

  1. osa

    November 16, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    After, someone will come and say i give attitude andi am unfriendly
    Sorry but if i dont know you, aint gonna be friendly. You could be anybody ranging from either side of the spectrum

  2. Marlvina

    November 16, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    What kind of country is this? Cringing as I read through the story. God spare us o! The days are evil. But then again, supposing a 7 year old child steals a carton of indomie from the market, pls my people, what should be the appropriate thing to do?

    • Oby

      November 16, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Take the boy home and feed him. He was just a poor hungry little boy. What a depraved society we have become.

    • Marlvina

      November 17, 2016 at 12:39 am

      Most definitely, I wish others could think this way and show compassion towards others. Sad society!

    • chizoba

      November 16, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      I cant believe u are literally asking this question. you feed him of course he is hungry

    • Marlvina

      November 17, 2016 at 8:51 am

      Yes I asked because in present day, the reaction people take is always towards beating, hurting or calling the police on the child; which is wrong! If only people can be more accommodating and understanding, we won’t be hearing cases of jungle justice. I’ve witnessed a woman mercilessly beat up a young girl cus she stole Ribena. Rather she she’d have cautioned the lil girl and then buy her the Ribena she wants.

  3. Spunky

    November 16, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Most people are evil and only need a chance to exhibit their callousness. ..taking their frustration out on the innocent victim. He got lucky and he should forever remain thankful to God for his grace.

    • mz_danielz

      November 17, 2016 at 10:26 am

      Most people are angry and frustrated human beings. I’m telling you.

  4. A Real Nigerian

    November 16, 2016 at 9:39 pm

  5. A Real Nigerian

    November 16, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    “The whole attack was even filmed, and you could hear fellow Nigerians shout “hit him very well” in the background.”
    The stupid hatred flowing in the hearts of Nigerians is truly something of epic proportions. Someone stole a phone, so you want to beat him to death?
    How many of these animals attempt to even so much as touch the spiritual highway robbers who call themselves men of God and coerce poor people out of money? How many of them have beaten up the politicians that put them and their rotten society in the sad, sorry state that it is in today? No, instead they pour out all their aggression on softer targets. These same people who do jungle justice will attend campaigns, rallies and whatnot held by corrupt politicians. They will sell their votes for a little bit of money while those politicians earn millions without attending to the healthcare, education or infrastructure.
    What a hopeless nation of stupid people.

  6. AceOfSpades

    November 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    You see the women that started this wants this to happen and when their husband beat them, they’d shout domestic violence. I once saw a man whose car glass was wound down from behind and his phone was in the backseat. My cousin said to tell him, but for where. That’s how the man will say he kept money there and its missing and we stole it and then jungle justice!

    Omo this Naija Na wah. You can’t blame people sha because if you talk, they can add you to the crime.

    • The Real Oma

      November 17, 2016 at 11:20 am

      How on earth did you connect jungle justice with domestic violence? How???

  7. Benbella

    November 16, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Poverty and ignorance seems to have made Nigerians blood-thirsty down to grass-root level.

    It all stemmed from the 80s and 90s where economic hardship took root after the oil boom years. People became occupied to making a quick buck, and coming back to the village to floss. As social ills like yahoo yahoo, 419, ogwu-ego, kidnapping, one chance and armed robbery increased, the government seemed too slow and cumbersome to tackle them. The law of the jungle has now taken over since the system has now become overwhelmed.

    Now people walk around with frustrations at the system which has failed them. Their frustrations are a bit misplaced though,

    Every ill in Nigeria is now done excessively today when compared to the past. Let me tell a quick story:

    Sometime circa 1992, a chap aged 21 was caught stealing in a shop somewhere in Aba called Eziama. A thick crowd quickly surrounded the thief, and they were welding various weapons of destruction – planks, iron rod, boiling ring, fluorescent tube, koboko etc. They started raining blows on the thief and they stripped him naked.

    A man was passing by the scene on his way back from work, and waded through the crowd out of curiousity to see what the din was. He soon screamed with hysteria: A nwuona m o! (Mi o gbe o!) (I am mortally finished). The thief was his nephew – his brother’s son. He had to think fast.

    The uncle quickly approached the leader of the mob who was wielding a huge akpu pestle, and who looked like he was about to break the thief’s head with it. The following conversation ensued in perfect Abia Igbo:

    Uncle: “Biko, nne gi a nwu na, o gini mere nwoke ahu (Please, and by the way, may it be well with your mother. What is this young lad’s crime?”)

    Chief lyncher: “O zuru ohi (or he converted another’s man’s possessions in contravention of societal norms)”

    The Uncle looked at his nephew who was now quite scarred and bloodied, and sitting in a heap on the ground. True to word, next to the thief were the items he had tried to steal. Apparently, he had broken into a video/ electronics store, and nabbed a video cassette player and 3 films – Steve Seagal’s “Out for Justice”, Jungle Fever and some Nollywood movie featuring Tony Umez and Sonny McDon. Luck ran out when he was trying to make away, as someone spotted him and yelled “TIF!!” “TIFFFF” “TEEEFFFFF!!”

    The Uncle hissed, and shouted as he gave his nephew a thunderous slap: “E wu ezigbo onye-oshi” (You are a super-duper crook; a real vagabond of incredible stature).

    FOOOKPA!!!!!

    The slap the Uncle gave the nephew made him writhe on the floor in pain as he clutched his face. It hurt worse than being smashed with a pestle. Even the crowd was stunned, and looked at the Uncle in surprise. Enyi ele ihe o wu biko? (like Uncle, what is really going on. Did you just cut your nose to spite your face?)

    The Uncle then turned to the Chief Lyncher and explained: “This anumanu (animal) is my younger brother’s son. I will make sure his father deals with him at home. The father is a principal at the local seminary school on Aba-Owerri Road. He has learnt his lesson, so allow me take him to his father for additional VIP treatment”

    The Chief Lyncher seemed satisfied at the outcome, and as he looked to the mob, most of them grunted their approvals . The jungle justice logic was that since someone who was a close family friend and a member of the community had vouched for the thief as a kind of guarantor, and since he had already been humiliated enough anyway, the rogue could be released on the Uncle’s recognizance.

    Jungle justice bail was set there and then by the street jury and the crowd dispersed. An Uncle’s slap had saved his nephew from a certain death.

    In Nigeria of 2016, people are killed for being innocent bystanders close to crimes, to talk less of committing them.

    The general populace is full of mistrust for the justice system and some now opt for street justice. If Nigerian justice in the judiciary is represented by a white effigy of a blind-folded lass with scales and a sword, Jungle Justice her unruly and infamous cousin would be a Kunkuru puppet figurine wielding a cutlass, a jerry can of petrol and a mosquito net looking for who to devour. Unfortunately the young and innocent do get caught in the cross-fire.

    My question is: why isnt this street justice meted out to the agbada robbed Chief who has stolen vast amount of money that has placed the common man in the place of frustration?

    This is a country where if you were driving a vehicle with a flat or limp tire on a public road, passer-bys or other road users riding on okadas would not hesitate to bang on your car boot or bonnet as they overtook your car to alert you about the tire. Some would even honk their horns loudly. At this point, we are ready to drink Panadol for another person’s sickness. But if you are getting lynched by an irate mob, no one ever intervenes. They stand holding looking on or holding the lyncher’s robes like Saul did to Stephen.

  8. SMJJ

    November 16, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    The kind of social media jungle justice happens every other day on BellaNaija. How? Jumping into conclusion on a matter when you have only heard one side of the story.

    • Anon

      November 17, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Trying so hard to be deep. Because our words that can change if another side comes out are the same as killing someone on the spot for a crime they may not have committed. Please get out

    • SMJJ

      November 17, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      They are not the same, I said social media jungle justice. Na from clap them take dey dance, words can actually kill, the first step to mob action starts with a word “TIFF Ole”. People are not open to any other persons explanation, If one will take their time to listen to the other party before meting out judgment, maybe they can also wait for the law to take its place.

  9. Tola.

    November 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    “”Jungle justice can happen to anyone in Nigeria. You just have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”” Even sitting quietly in your home can be “”the wrong place at the wrong time”‘ in buharicrazy. Jungle justice is being practised from the top by Buhari from the comfort and plenty of Aso Villa, and his EFCC and DSS; so, if the hungry, angry, poor, frustrated masses in the markets and on the streets are murderous as well, it should be no surprise since that is the example from the top. A 74 year old, the Igbo Madam Bridget Agbahame, is instantly accused of blasphemy for asking a man to desist from strangely, deliberately coming to the very entrance of her shop to perform his ablution/ritual washing of his hands and feet before his prayers, and a mob is gathered and she is strangulated to death and beheaded and her head carried around the streets of Kano by the jubilating mob in broad daylight and buhari’s Kano state attorney general directs the court to free her five suspected killers and they walk free, their friends, family, and fans, another (or, the same?) jubilant mob at the court house. Joe Chinakwe is reported and accused to the police by an illegal alien, from Niger Republic, who gathers a mob against him for naming his dog Buhari; Joe, an Igbo trader, is arrested and thrown and kept in prison and charged to court; his accusers openly threaten to kill him, they are not arrested and thrown in prison neither charged to court; they take Joe’s dog and slaughter and butcher it i.e. they stole his property, and for all anyone knows, they destroyed his investment and stream of income because he would have spent money feeding that dog, and could claim he bought it and was feeding and paying its vet bills for all the necessary vaccinations so as to make money from selling its puppies or putting it out to stud (even if it was a bingo, in a civilised society, he could sue and make that claim). All this happened and was all over the news, but sorry, according to his spokesperson himself, Buhari ‘reads’ cartoons, perhaps, the news media should have reported the news in animation form. Buhari has done NOTHING. Yet, before Buhari, dogs and other animals and pets have been named Obasanjo, Obj, Abacha, Mandela, Ronaldo, Messi, Barack and heavens did not fall. Eunice Elisha, the RCCG evangelist and wife and mother was murdered and left sprawled in the streets, her blood mixing with the mud and pooling and staining everywhere all over in the police van eventually used to remove her lifeless carcass. What arrests, if any have been made? Even though it is well known that a week before her death she was threatened by worshippers at a mosque near her home and warned never to preach again.

    What has Buhari DONE, what has he SPOKEN about all these? Instead, he is the jungle judge dealing out his jungle justice, arresting and throwing people in prison without warrants by EFCC, ignoring not only judgments by courts in Nigeria but also, court judgments and fines handed down by the ECOWAS court, storming actual judges houses with battalions of DSS, breaking down doors, assaulting family members, heavily-armed as if going into mortal combat with the most notorious and evil of drug kingpins or boko haram commanders.

    Going through supermarkets and looking at prices that are like from another planet, scrimping, saving, budgeting, re-budgeting, having to leave out more and more things, buying only the very barest essentials and then, not even being able to buy enough of those, I keep thinking of the poor, the poor, the masses, wondering how they’re coping, wondering how they’re eating, wondering what kind of Christmas they’ll have? I think of widows, of orphans, of the elderly, of single parents, of men, heads of households who feel the burden to provide and CANNOT.

    I wanted GEJ to leave. I never wanted Buhari to come. I look at everything happening in Nigeria today and find myself thinking: in GEJ’s time, it was just the money chopping, and there has always been that in Nigeria, under EVERY president and head of state. Now, the corrupt are still there, the national party leader, the president, the ministers in his cabinet, etc but now, Christians and Southerners are being slaughtered and killed with a kind of impunity not seen before. (What American minorities are beginning to experience since a Trump win.) Herdsmen are allowed to kill and buhari keeps silent only to eventually speak and say they will be given the lands of the people whom they have killed, raped, maimed, burnt as grazing reserves. Buhari keeps mum on murderous Fulani herdsmen but makes pronouncements all day on Niger Delta militants. For the first time in my life, I heard the FG of Nigeria, through the Minister of Interior, announce that the sultan of Sokoto had declared certain days public holidays in Nigeria and that those days declared by the sultan were public holidays.

    Habiba Isa. After disgracing both her and himself, and Nigeria on the world stage, when they made up in “‘the other room”‘, Buhari quickly organised for governor’s wives from across the country to pay visits to Aisha to try to give her back face he caused her to lose. And, the northern governor’s wives forum had the audacity to say that they came to see her to find ways to end child bride, child marriages, abuse of women, etc. Habiba Isa is right there in the palace of the paedophile emir of her husband’s home state, katsina, being passed from the emir to Jamilu Lawal to further defile, oh sorry, ‘marry’; has she been able to free her back to her distressed, agonised, Christian septuagenarian father? and mother? Has Aisha said one word on Habiba Isa’s case? At what REAL age was Aisha herself married to Buhari? At what age did she get pregnant?

    I cannot wait for 2019. 2019 is too far. 2017 is too far. Buhari should be impeached now before he drags this country farther over the brink of no return.

    • tunmi

      November 17, 2016 at 1:49 am

      Too long didn’t read. Jungle justice didn’t start today, let’s not get too wrapped up.

    • Huh?

      November 17, 2016 at 7:36 am

      Mtchewww like jungle justice was not already in full bloom before Buhari became president. If you want to write long speeches on issues like this, take your brain along with you.

  10. Bukky

    November 16, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    So so sad that people will stand by and watch them lynch a child. Jungle justice is a no and the government needs to launch a nation-wide campaign against this. My friend got lynched by mob at Tejusoho market some years ago. A car which was the same color and model as hers had parked very close to where she has parked. When she was done shopping, she mistakenly went to the other car and attempted to open it with her keys. One of the market women who had seen the original owner of the car pounced on her and started hitting her whole yelling “ole, ole”. A crowd gathered and beating had started. Luckily someone was kind enough to intervene! It was then she realized it was the wrong car, and she identified her own car and was let go.

    With churches on every street corner, you’d think Nigerians would be the kindest people on earth, but no, we are a wicked and disgusting people!

  11. Frank

    November 16, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    And these are the same ignorant Nigerians that will be singing the praises of their govt officials, politicians and even men of God who continue to rob them blind of $$$$billions, cause no one steals in Naira anymore. Bunch of ignorant retarded asswipes.

  12. Eegor

    November 17, 2016 at 3:12 am

    nobody I repeat nobody has the right to take anybody’s life. if someone has done wrong submit him to proper authorities than taking judgement into your own hands. May that little man’s soul rest in perfect peace!!

  13. Mo'Diva

    November 17, 2016 at 9:47 am

    @Tola your comment was long but I was patient enough to read it thoroughly, and it left my heart dripping with tears. Nigeria is decayed only God can restore Nigeria!

  14. WOW

    November 17, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    You and i will not commit such an offence…STAYING IN FRONT OF OUR COMPUTER SCREENS AND COMMENTING CAN ONLY GO SO FAR …the police has a massive role to play in stopping blood thirsty jobless Nigerians from killing people (innocent or guilty). But what can we do as individuals cos i am guessing if i stand up for an alleged thief i may be mistaken for his accomplice.
    An awareness campaign and harsh punishment for those that beat people on the streets

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