Yesterday on social media I saw the video clip of a woman being beaten and stripped naked by angry young men, as she tried to run to safety which didn’t look feasible in my opinion. The clips was a short one and didn’t show if she survived the attack though I highly doubt it. I read comments under the post and though most people agreed that the treatment was too severe but they subconsciously tried to accept it on the assumption that she was probably caught kidnapping a child.
BUT WHAT IF SHE WAS INNOCENT?
About 15 years ago I was in the university, Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma precisely, I lived off campus in a privately owned hostel on a long lonely path which boasted of a few other hostels dispersed apart. One one faithful night my roommate and I took a stroll to the express road to purchase food items to prepare for dinner. On our way back, as we passed in front of an hostel two blocks away from ours, we heard a commotion within and decided to stop and ask what was happening (more like we decided to do “amebo”).
We saw a group of students, surrounding a young man who was kneeling on the ground with a car tyre around his neck. Everyone was yelling at him and hitting him with whatever objects they could lay their hands on, while threatening to burn him alive. I asked the person standing closest to me, what the commotion was about. He explained to me, saying that less than an hour ago, armed men barged into their hostel, over powering them and robbing them. They then claimed that as the men fled after the operation, a few bold ones among them, rushed out to see if they could apprehend them. While they were at it, they noticed the suspect who knelt in their midst, emerging from a bush with a bike close by, he was then apprehended and accused of being one of the getaway riders, who conveyed the robbers to their mission!
I looked at the little man who knelt begging for his life, he cried to them that he was simply a commercial bike operator and he had just dropped of a rider by name “Ogechi”(truthfully speaking I don’t recall the exact Igbo name he mentioned that day) further down the street and he decided to take a shit (a costly one! Hahaha) in the bush before moving on. The fact that he claimed to know his rider’s name, infuriated his accusers more as it seemed untrue. So they began making arrangements to get the fuel needed to light him up.
I had no intention of watching a murder so gruesome, so I tugged on my roommate’s hand for us to start going. We left and got to our hostel, where we met everyone seated outside around the well, enjoying the moonlight and gisting. So we just had to share the “gist” we just witnessed with them. As we shared it, when we got to the part where the bikeman mentioned the name of his rider, a girl I had only known by an English name screamed! She said that she was his rider and the reason why he knows her name was that she and her boyfriend had been standing together, when she flagged down the bike late that night. He had told them that he couldn’t go to such lonely roads that night and they had begged him. He finally agreed and as she climbed unto the bike, her boyfriend had mentioned her Igbo name fondly as he bade her good night.
That’s how the race to save a young bike man unjustly accused began. The whole lot of us began running as fast as we could, we got there just in the nick of time, petrol had already been poured on him and they were just about to light up the human bonfire!
I screamed and ran in front of the suspect, shielding off the executioner, while explaining our findings. The execution was cancelled, everyone dispersed and the man whose life had just been elongated cried at our feet worshiping us, singing and dancing. He vowed not to continue with that line of business from that day.
That was how I got to save a life that day!
I hope this true experience of mine, will be shared and help reduce the trend of jungle justice. Yes I do know that robbers and their likes are very wicked mean people, but what if you are wrong? Moreover why do some people find it so easy to condemn others to death yet if they find themselves in such situations, they beg for their lives? I hear Idi Amin Dada after his rule, characterized by many murders, begged like a baby when he faced his executioners.
Why take life when you can’t create one? I sincerely pray I never take a life till I leave this earth.
Okay, that was some memory lane . Have a beautiful day to you all who like my kind of weirdness.