The Lagos State Police Command has warned members of the public against executing jungle justice or extra-judicial punishment when suspected criminals are caught.
The Lagos State Police Command’s Spokesperson, DSP Bala Elkana gave the warning in a statement issued today following the wrongful accusation of two men as kidnappers. The victim, one Justina Emmanuel, who has mental health challenge, had shouted for help and a mob had descended on her husband, Joseph Agugom and his brother, Paul Agugom who were taking her to the hospital.
The Police said it has launched a manhunt for those who participated in the mob action with a view to bringing them to justice. Elkana strongly advised members of the public to be more careful and not to jump to conclusions on alarm raised by anybody.
He said innocent persons have suffered death or bodily harm and inhuman treatment through jungle justice in the past. The PPRO added that members of the public have the powers to arrest anybody suspected of a crime but that the law provides that such persons arrested should be handed over to the Police immediately.
According to him, it is only investigation that can determine the truthfulness or otherwise of the allegations and the laws presume the accused person to be innocent until proven guilty by court of competent jurisdiction.