Asugha Backs Lagos State Government’s Law On Jungle justice
Following the Lagos State Government's novel strong warning to residents who may be tempted to deliver instant punishment or jungle justice by lynching, burning or killing suspected criminals, the Special Assistant to the Imo state governor on Lagos/Southwest Liaison, Hon. Lisa Asugha-Enogha has described it as one on the right direction.
Condemning the act of which the law was made, Asugha in her office while briefing newsmen said it is too barbaric for people to take laws into their hands by killing, without due prosecution.
However, she on her own sent a personal warning message to Imo indigenes residing in Lagos over the seriousness of the notice which states that the full weight of the law would be brought to bear on anyone caught engaging in jungle justice, no matter what the alleged criminal could have done.
“This is one of the laws that should be taking serious by our people, especially. We ought to represent our values as a people, and that is why we must help the government in maintaining law and orders. Anyone caught beating, burning or killing any suspect whether alone or in a mob is himself engaging in a serious criminal act and is liable to prosecution and punishment, even more than the suspected criminal,” she enthused.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye had earlier noted in his statement that this warning became important following press reports that some people were attacked in the State based on mere allegations of kidnapping, stealing or ritual killing.
Ipaye said that the State Government totally condemned these attacks, adding that the suspects might easily have been wrongly accused. Even if they did commit the alleged offence, there is a process for prosecuting and showing the evidence in court so that proven criminals can be properly punished according to law.
The Attorney -General gave instances of a woman recently accused of attempting to kidnap three primary school pupils in the Ekoro area and another who was alleged to have kidnapped two children at Iyana-Ipaja. Both were reportedly lynched by angry mobs.
Ipaye warned that the State would not tolerate any such attacks on any suspect and urged any citizen who thought a crime had been committed to report or hand over the suspect to any police station, any security or the law enforcement agency in the area.
Ipaye said further that just as kidnapping and other criminal acts were condemnable, it was equally unacceptable for citizens to take laws into their own hands by summarily punishing or killing those suspected of any criminal act. "The mob may well be wrong and the helpless victim may be anyone's child or relative", he said, adding that even if the mob was right, instant justice could never be the answer in any civilized community.