Police Recover Body of Phone Thief Burnt to Death In Lagos • Confirm He's Aged 20-25 NOT 7 As Widely Reported

The Lagos State Police Command says it has located the charred remains of a robbery suspect who was burnt to death by a mob in the Orile area of the state.

The state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the suspect was believed to be between 20 and 25 years old, and not a seven-year-old boy lynched over garri, which went viral on the social media.

Owoseni, who noted that the lynching occurred around 4am penultimate Saturday, said the police had contacted an emergency agency of the state government to remove the corpse.

Sugar Daily had reported that there was controversy over the death of  the teenager, who was burnt to death for stealing at the Alafia bus stop in the Orile area.

A mob at the bus stop caught the boy after he attempted to steal a phone from a passerby. An eyewitness had narrated how the suspect and his gang members attacked the victim, stabbed him multiple times with dagger and machete while trying to dispossess him of his phone and money.

While three of the gang members were able to escape mob lynching, the fourth thief wasn't so lucky.

He was the one who did the stabbing and was eventually apprehended by an angry mob that beat him up and set him ablaze.

The Commissioner of Police said it was wrong to put the blame on the police, as some members of the gang had been previously arrested, arraigned in court, but released on bail. He added that members of the public should join hands to fight the menace of jungle justice.

He said, “In the course of the police investigation, it was discovered that the fellow that was lynched in the video was an adult. The police found his decomposing body in a canal somewhere in the Orile area. He was an adult of between 20 and 25 years.

"The state emergency management agency was contacted to remove the corpse. Our inquiries revealed that he and two members of his gang had attacked a victim with a machete in order to snatch his wallet and mobile phone.

“It was also found out that his gang members had been operating in the area for a while. Some of the gang members had, at one time or the other, been arraigned in court and through the judicial process of securing bail, found themselves out again.

“During this particular incident, the mob collected the machete from the suspect and attacked him. In as much as we condemn all acts of impunity and people taking laws into their hands, you will agree that what happened was a societal problem.

“It would not be charitable to put the blame on the police. It is a menace that all of us should fight. The police will continue to make arrests when crimes are committed.”