LAGOS- A security expert, Mr Dickson Osajie, on Friday called on the government and law enforcement agencies to urgently check the growing trend of mob killings in the country.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, Osajie, owner of DBreeze Protection and Security Service Ltd, said public extrajudicial killings had become the order of the day across the country.
He said that the menace needed to be addressed urgently as the killing of a person for a crime without recourse to law enforcement officers was not acceptable in any given society.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Osajie, a former Army personnel, spoke on the backdrop of recent mob killings in the country within the month of April.
Osajie recalled the cases of a 40-year-old man who was reportedly killed over alleged theft of N2,000 watermelon in Bauchi and that of a 22-year-old man, who was set ablaze in Calabar on April 9 for stealing an Android phone.
He also recalled the cases of a driver, who was stoned to death for crushing two persons to death in Ondo on April 10, and the lynching of a final-year student of the Obafemi Awolowo University for alleged phone theft on April 11.
“It is a disturbing situation that Nigerians are resorting to jungle justice, killing people because of simple or minor crimes.
“Those who engage in lynching are not innocent, some of them are also criminals; If you lynch a person for stealing a bike, your crime is even worse because you have committed murder.
“There have been killings all over the country, and the perpetrators are difficult to track.
“In more modern societies where the police have sophisticated equipment, the perpetrators of such crime will be trailed and arrested.
“We need to place priority on human life; it is sad that Nigerians are dying everyday, people are being killed like chickens, it is totally unacceptable,” he said.
The security expert said that jungle justice was caused by emotions that were not well directed.
“A lot of Nigerians are angry, especially the jobless ones. They feel that in any situation they can vent their anger on their fellow citizens.
According to him, mob killing is putting the country in negative light, adding that it also makes people to think that Nigeria is a lawless nation.
Osajie said that the police and judiciary needed to do more to tackle the growing menace, such as putting in place an effective punishment system to ensure that those who engaged in such crimes are made to face the wrath of the law.
“One beautiful thing punishment does is that it serve as a deterrent. If you don’t punish people, you will not flourish.
“If we have a criminal justice system where the perpetrators are taken to court, tried, and jailed, possibly given life sentence or execution as the case maybe, then the deadly act will be mitigated,” he said.
Osajie also urged the police to desist from extra-judicial killings as that could also send wrong signals to Nigerians.
He called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other agencies to embark on sensitisation that would inform the public about the consequences of their actions.
The security expert appealed to government at all levels to look into the issue of employment, so as to take jobless youths off the streets and to implement the criminal justice system. (NAN)