The police in Lagos have said that a woman, identified as Justina Emmanuel, who accused her husband, Joseph Agugom, and his brother Paul, of kidnapping her and her daughter, Munachisom, for ritual purposes was mentally unwell.
According to the Police, the brothers were conveying her to the hospital with her hands tied to her back when she raised the alarm that she was being kidnapped.
The incident, which went viral on Social Media over the weekend via a video clip, took place in the Lawanson area of Surulere, Lagos State,
The video clip showed passers-by, responding to the woman’s cry, beating up the two brothers and almost lynching them.
Justina, with her hands tied behind her back, accused her husband of being a money ritualist, claiming he had already used two of their children for the purpose.
However, a statement by the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, on Sunday, said an investigation revealed that Justina was suffering from mental illness and that she was being taken to hospital when she raised the alarm that led to the beating meted to her husband and brother-in-law.
The statement read: “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.
“One Honda CRV car with number plate Lagos FST 587 BU, one LG Phone, one iPhone, one bag containing two flasks, three pieces of rope, one black paramilitary belt and one green beret were recovered.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the victim is married to one of the suspects, Joseph Agugom, and the child belongs to both of them. It was also revealed that the victim was suffering from mental illness and she was being conveyed to the hospital when she raised the alarm and some members of the public stopped the car and descended on the suspects.
“Members of both the suspects and victim’s families came to the station and made statements to the effect that the victim was suffering from mental illness and was actually being conveyed to the hospital. The other two children the victim had with her husband were brought to the station contrary to the allegation of the victim that they were killed by the husband for money rituals.
“The victim was taken to hospital by the police for medical examination. The police have launched a manhunt for those who participated in the mob action with a view to bringing them to justice.”
In other developments, the command said 16 suspected cultists were arrested by its personnel during a clash in the Ikorodu area of the state while five suspected traffic robbers were apprehended for unlawfully dispossessing residents of their valuables in the Shomolu and Ikorodu areas of the state.
The suspected cultists were named as Adewale Afisi, Adewale Rufai, Taiwo Adejowo, Sunday Vincent, Obi Joshua, Kolawole Gbenga, and Muyideen Saliu.
Others are, Adetunji Ojo, Idowu Olarewaju, Pelumi Dada, Tijani Alabi, Yinka Adebayo, Ekele Merit, Seun Balogun and Olarewaju Ibrahim.
The suspected traffic robbers were identified as Blessing Ndubusi, 16; Ayomide Olamipo, 21; Tobi Onileowo, 26; Olakunle Ayo, 25 and Ogundiran Timileyin, 22.
Elkana said all the suspects would be charged to court after the completion of investigations.