The police have said that a woman, Justina Emmanuel, who accused her husband, Joseph Agugom, and his brother Paul, of kidnapping her and her daughter, Munachisom, for ritual purposes in the Lawanson area of Surulere, Lagos State, is suffering from mental illness.
The brothers, the police said, were conveying her to hospital with her hands tied to her back when Justina raised the alarm that she was being kidnapped.
Passers-by, who responded to the woman’s cry, were seen in a video footage, which trended on the Internet over the weekend, beating up Joseph and Paul and almost lynching them.
In the footage, Justina, whose hands were tied behind her back, accused her husband of engaging in money rituals, adding that he had already used two of their children for the purpose.
“He is my husband, but I don’t know that he has been engaging in money rituals. I gave birth to three children; he had taken two of our children,” she said.
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, in a statement on Sunday, said investigation revealed that Justina was suffering from mental illness, adding that she was being taken to hospital when she raised the alarm that prompted passers-by to force the car to a halt and started assaulting the brothers.
While condemning members of the public for taking the laws into their hands by subjecting the brothers to jungle justice, Elkana said the command had launched a manhunt for those who assaulted the brothers.
The PPRO said, “On Thursday June 6, 2019, around 12.45pm, the command’s control room received a distress call that a mob action was going on at the Lawanson junction, Itire. An anti-crime patrol team led by the Divisional Police Officer, Itire, CSP Odey Ogah, was promptly deployed in the scene.
“One Justina Emmanuel of No. 10 Bishop Okogie Street, Ago, and her one-and-half-year-old daughter, Munachisom Agugom, were rescued. Two suspects, Joseph Agugom and Paul Agugom, were rescued from the mob. They were alleged to have kidnapped the victims for ritual purposes.