by Akan Ido
Efforts directed at identifying the individuals responsible for assaulting two women in Lagos appears to have yielded some fruit as Kehinde Bamigbetan, the Chairman of Ejigbo Local Government Area, where the crime was believed to have been perpetrated, has waded into the case.
In a viral video circulated online, two females were seen beaten by an unidentified mob after been accused of stealing pepper at the Ejigbo market. One of the victims was left traumatized after getting her eyes and private parts smeared with pepper during this barbaric act.
Giving an update on his findings which was reportedly done with the help of law enforcement agents, Bamigbetan said the crime was committed around February 2013 and efforts are ongoing to locate the victims so that more information can be obtained with a view to prosecuting the perpetrators of the crime.
According to him: “I promised an update in 24 hours. This incident took place in the central market, Iyana Ejigbo, Ejigbo LCDA in February 2013. The pepper sellers normally leave their goods in their stalls. They returned the next day to discover that their goods were being stolen.
“They reported this to the vigilante they hired to secure the market. About 6am, the two women were allegedly caught stealing pepper. They were a wife and her step-daughter. They lived near the market with the husband. The husband is said to be a wine tapper,” he reportedly said.
Bamigbetan revealed that the criminals, who were said to be vigilante men, were punished and their group disbanded.
He continued saying, “After the barbaric torture, both confessed to stealing the pepper and were let go. However, a few members of the vigilante feared that the case may spread. And informed the leadership of the vigilante group. Those involved were allegedly penalized and the gang disbanded.
“The scene was then converted to shops and rented out. I have reviewed these with the DPO and both of us are bothered by the impact of the time lag of over nine months on investigation. This may also explain the initial denials by the stakeholders. We are working on getting the wine tapper to trace his wife and daughter involved. If he has not relocated from Ejigbo, then we have a good chance of retrieving information and tracking the story,” he assured.
In her reaction on Thursday, December 5, 2013, at the first public showcase of the said crime during a book launch in Lagos, human rights activist, Dr. Joe Odumakin said, “This is so dehumanizing. The level of impunity which these guys perpetrated this heinous act goes a long way to show that impunity is on the rise. This violence is real. This is why people should not look the other way.”
The clip showed a mob stripping a female naked after beating her severely, then sodomized and raped her with sticks and more.
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