Published On: Thu, Jun 20th, 2024

Vigilante Allegedly Beat Man  Falsely Accused Of Stealing Phone To Death In Delta

Delta Cp Olufemi

LAGOS JUNE 20TH (URHOBOTODAY)-It was a tragic Father’s Day in Agbor, Delta State, last Sunday when a 23-year-old man, Mr. Joe Philip, was beaten to death by members of the local vigilance group over a missing phone.

Mr Joe Philip was falsely accused of stealing a Nokia torchlight phone, which a woman in the neighbourhood of Mariere Lane had brought to his apartment for charging.

The woman, who has since been arrested by the police, called the vigilantes when she discovered the phone was missing from the charging point, accusing Mr Philip of stealing it.

An eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, recounted that Mr Philip had just returned from church and turned on his generator to relax when the woman from his compound knocked to charge her phone in his room.

While he was sleeping, the woman’s son picked up the phone from the charging point without Mr Philip’s knowledge and without informing his mother.

Later, when the woman came to collect her phone and found it missing, Mr Philip expressed concern and promised to replace it. However, the woman insisted on having her exact phone back and vowed to teach him a lesson.

The eyewitness account said: “At this point, the mama invited members of a local security outfit, Anioma Security Watch Network, for intervention.

“They arrived at the scene in the compound and descended on the young man, telling him to provide the missing phone. Even as several people pleaded with them, they insisted that he provide the phone before they left him. The beating continued until they realised that the situation had gone out of their control; after a while, they noticed that the motionless body of the boy became cold and stiff so they immediately carried him to the office of the security group, Anioma Security Watch Network, at  Gbenoba Street Agbor, where the aggrieved mob started damaging the patrol Hilux of the vigilante group. They later fled in different directions.”

The quick intervention of police and military personnel calmed the situation, and the remains of the young man were taken to the mortuary at Central Hospital Agbor by the police, along with aggrieved relatives and friends.

A few hours after the tragic incident, the missing Nokia phone was found with the woman’s son, who had taken it earlier without informing his mother.

He explained that he did not want to disturb Mr Philip’s sleep when he entered his room to collect it.

Confirming the incident on Tuesday, the state police public relations officer, SP Bright Edafe, condemned the act of jungle justice and stated that anyone involved would be arrested and charged with murder.

Edafe vowed that there would be no hiding place for the fleeing members of the vigilance group responsible for killing the innocent victim.


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