Nigeria: Aluu Four lynching, 10 years later – The need for orientation with regard to jungle justice

Deborah Dzifa Makafui October 06, 2022
Ugonna Obuzor, Tekena Elkanah, Chiadika Biringa and Lloyd Toku (left to right) were all pals. Photo: BBC

Jungle justice is the practice of enforcing the law without first consulting the appropriate government bodies, which results in the violation of other people’s rights. It is filled with rage, suffering, hatred, and violent acts that deny the accused person the chance to speak out or make a defense. 

The same people serve as the accuser, the prosecutor, the judge, and the executioner simultaneously in a system known as “jungle justice,” which deprives an accused person of his fundamental rights and throws him into an ugly bowl with no grace to defend themselves.

Aluu Four lynching story

The first sons of their parents, Chiadika Biringa, Lloyd Toku Mike, Tekena Elkanah, and Ugonna Obuzor were all pals who attended the University of Port Harcourt. The four students occasionally shared a room. Ugonna occasionally stayed the night with Tekena, who lived off-campus because his apartment on campus had been broken into several times. Ugonna was very bothered by a debtor named Bright who owed him an unspecified sum of money.

In time, Ugonna managed to find out Bright’s particular location. He asked his roommate Chiadika, childhood buddy Tekena, and fellow rapper Lloyd for assistance. Four of them set out on an unreturnable voyage together. At about midnight, when it would look strange for anyone to be moving around, the four students finally made it to the debtor’s home, carrying an axe, a pen knife, and a cutlass in an effort to frighten him. A misunderstanding about overpaying the loan led to a bad situation that eventually erupted into a fight. 

The debtor, Bright, started yelling and raising a false alarm, saying the men were coming to take laptops and cell phones. With the false belief that the students were criminals disturbing the neighborhood, the vigilante group from Aluu was informed. Anger mobs chased the four men through the streets while brandishing sticks and stones before the Aluu Vigilante group could arrive.

Once they were captured, they were stripped naked, beaten, and tortured until they were nearly unconscious. They were then dragged through mud, had concrete slabs dropped on their heads, and had car tires filled with gasoline wrapped around their necks (thus, “necklacing”) in order to burn them in front of a mob, Nigerian police officials, and some Nigerians. Not even the Nigerian police force could stop it.

When Tekena’s sister happened to be nearby, she learned that her brother was about to be executed using “jungle justice.” She attempted to step in and save him along with his pals by yelling at the crowd in the loudest voice possible and emphasizing their innocence, but she was overcome by the crowd’s enormity. She was urged to leave by members of the mob. She made the decision to get in touch with other family members and the police in a last-ditch effort to save her brother’s life, but by the time the needed help was requested, the men had already been killed. The killings were captured on camera with a mobile device and posted online.

The need for orientation with regard to jungle justice

Although such mob killings are prevalent in today’s globe, this one was the first to gain broad attention on social media, sparking protests, discussions about the nation’s justice system, and concerns about a culture where such levels of violence are tolerated. 

You are entitled to self-defense through independent legal counsel. Now, if someone is accused of a crime and is not given the chance to defend himself before the crowd attacks to decide their fate without a fair trial, it is obviously illegal.

Due to the jungle justice phenomena, two schools have emerged: one that supports its application and one that opposes it. Mob justice advocates contend that it is a successful strategy for resolving or reducing the crime wave. They continue by arguing that it ought to be regarded as the top tribunal because it is run by the people (the masses). Jungle justice proponents believe that the greatest method to reduce robberies in society is to use it frequently. They view it as a successful tactic against the heinous and horrifying deeds of robbers.

On the other hand, individuals who oppose jungle justice have emphasized its implications for moral, religious, legal, and human rights to support why it should be condemned. Jungle justice is disrespectful to human nature on a moral level. The treatment of humans shouldn’t be worse than that of animals. Jungle justice actually entails hopping from one injustice to another. It is a byword for horror, moral degeneration, and the breakdown of a government authority. Innocent people will eventually become victims as a result.

It can happen when someone is falsely accused of committing a crime and is subsequently subjected to physical abuse before being lynched. A person can frequently order jungle justice to be applied to his enemy as retaliation in communities where it has become popular. Jungle justice also minimizes human values and threatens human security, both of which are crucial components of peace.

Here, it should be noted that jungle justice dehumanizes both the culprit and the victim, making it abhorrent. Some believe that punishing someone based only on an accusation represents an uncivilized society. The annihilation of the state, the offenders, and the victims are the eventual result of jungle justice, which is in fact a downward cycle. 

However, it is important to recognize that the high level of insecurity in our world today poses a daily threat to the lives and survival of its citizens. The government must play a major role in reversing the ugly trend. Building trust between the populace and security personnel, combating corruption in the judicial system, educating the populace about the law and the implications of jungle justice, and reviving the spirit of duty consciousness and professionalism in public authorities are some of the actions it can take. Every citizen is required to uphold the law.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 6, 2022


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