Man Almost Lynched by Mob After Being Caught Exchanging a 9-year-old Boy for Bag of Rice in Lagos

A man is arrested by the police for looting on the fourth day of a nationwide strike against the removal of the petrol subsidy in Lagos January 12, 2012. Tens of thousands of Nigerians have been protesting up and down Africa's most populous nation for four straight days in protest against the axing of the petrol subsidy, which more than doubled the price to around 150 naira ($0.93) per litre.  REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye (NIGERIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS ENERGY)
Residents of Mushin area of Lagos State, yesterday, foiled an attempt by a middle-aged man to exchange a 9-year-old boy in the area for a bag of rice.
A middle-aged man identified as Charles Ibeleme who attempted to exchange a 9-year-old boy for a bag of rice at Olowo Street in the Mushin area of Lagos State on Wednesday, has been nabbed.
Ibeleme was at the verge of being lynched by an angry mob after he was caught, when policemen from Olosan Division arrived the scene and rescued him.
Speaking to newsmen at the scene of the incident, an eyewitness, who gave her name as Obioma Chineye, was almost exchanging the 9-year-old boy, who was sent to buy pure water, for a bag of rice when someone, who knew the child, intervened.
“The boy in question is our tenant. He was sent to buy pure water. On the way, the man called him and he followed him as if he was hypnotised.
“Meanwhile, the person who sent him on an errand sighted him when the stranger accosted him. He became curious when the boy passed where he was supposed to buy the water and ran after the suspect.
“When he asked the stranger what he was doing with the boy, he claimed he was his brother.
“At that moment, the boy came back to his senses and said he did not know him. A mob descended on him, during which he admitted to be a kidnapper. He said he was taking him to some people who sent him. He also said that he went into kidnapping because of hardship,” she said.
While confirming incident, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmus, noted that,“Operatives from Mushin Olosan Division rescued one Charles Ibeleme while being mobbed by a tumultuous crowd over allegation of attempted kidnap.”
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