Sunday, 7 October 2012

Jungle Justice & the Killing of 4 UNIPORT Students – Witnesses Recount their Stories

Yesterday, we were shocked with the news and pictures of the gruesome murder of four students of University of Port-Harcourt. The naked pictures of the students showing them paraded, beaten with their bodies soaked in blood and mud has left me feeling unsettled since I saw it. Next time I see the message *viewer discretion is advised*, I would definitely think twice before viewing them.
When the news went viral yesterday, it was reported that they were accused of stealing phones and laptops and were beaten to death. However, other accounts of the incident have emerged.
Some people claimed the students were actually cultists who terrorized the community and at the time they were caught, they had dangerous weapons on them.
On Twitter, someone using the handle @Penny_sugababe who says she stays in Port Harcourt recounted her view of the incident. Although a search for her original tweets shows that her account has either been deleted or suspended (or probably it was just my internet connection), her tweets were retweeted several times.
She started by saying “Gosh! So because the criminals that were killed in PH today were cute, people are calling it injustice…Smh… Nigerians sha”
Then she continued with more tweets which have been trending on Twitter

She concluded with more tweets saying “They chose a wrong path and they knew the end…. Did they expect an angry mob to pat dem on dia backs and give them ice-cream? Oh please”
“Good night folks, pray for your loved ones, never to join a wrong crowd or be misguided. The fate of those boys…. It is well.”
She received quite a bashing for her tweets anyway. But I came across a similar witness account on a site called Date360. This was reportedly written by a student:
The Students involved are Cultists, They went to attack someone, they were about 5 in number, so on their way out, A girl saw them and screamed, these alerted people and they attacked them.. One of them escaped and the remaining 4 were caught with Weapons and beaten by a man , Hitting them Mercilessly and bringing them to a slow and painful death.. The man later Got Fuel and poured it in their mouth and lit it., Burning one student!, The man was stopped with the arrival of the police so he couldn’t burn the rest, they were later taken to the mortuary where the families of the deceased Came to claim the corpse…
More reports have claimed that the boys were killed by one man. While looking at the pictures, I noticed one particular man holding an insanely big stick over a  boy’s head who was already weak, bloody and pleading for his life. I saw the man in another picture putting a tyre across another boy’s neck.
I hope this helps the police in their investigations. The governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi has reportedly ordered the immediate arrest of the killers of the students.
What baffles me is that this act was carried out in broad day light and in the midst of so many people. Were the boys’ sins so grievous that no one could stop the men who were beating them up?
I think not just the state governor, but the President has to intervene in this case. Despite what they might have done, this sort of jungle justice, beating young men to death on the streets in the midst of everyone including children just doesn’t sound right.

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