With the increasing rate at which suspected criminals are being set ablaze in Akwa Ibom State, police in the state have issued warnings to residents against jungle justice.
The police a spokesperson in the state, Odiko MacDon, vowed that the police would prosecute those found to have taken laws into their hands.
A man suspected to have stolen a goat around February 5 was set ablaze in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of the state, while another man was also set ablaze along Nwaniba Road, near a popular Pentecostal church, in Uyo.
A journalist in Uyo said about six people were attacked and burnt to death by a mob in the city within 48 hours, early February, on suspicion of being either a thief or robber.
The police spokesperson, Mr MacDon, in a statement on Thursday, said henceforth, perpetrators of jungle justice would be identified, apprehended and prosecuted.
Mr MacDon said jungle justice could not guarantee fairness to a suspect and, therefore, should not be allowed to continue.
The act of jungle justice, if not checked, might lead to the death of innocent persons and snowball into anarchy, he said.
“The Commissioner of Police notes that jungle justice is a travesty of justice, as it does not guarantee fairness to anyone and may lead to the death of an innocent person(s).
“The act may lead to a state of anarchy and will, therefore, not be tolerated as it negates the subsisting constitutional provisions and has no place in our criminal justice administration,” the statement quoted the police commissioner as saying.
The commissioner appealed to members of the public to be law-abiding and always handover suspected criminals, when caught, to the police for diligent prosecution.
Most Nigerian states are currently facing various forms of security challenges, including increasing rates of kidnapping, armed robbery, and communal clashes.
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