Aluu Four lynching

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The Aluu Four lynching was a necklace lynching that involved four young men, Ugonna Obuzor, Toku Lloyd, Chiadika Biringa, and Tekena Elkanah, all students of the University of Port Harcourt. They were all lynched after they were falsely accused of theft in Aluu, a community in Ikwerre local government area, Rivers State, Nigeria on 5 October 2012.[1][2]

Incident[edit]

Chiadika Biringa, Lloyd Toku Mike, Tekena Erikena and Ugonna Obuzor were all friends, first sons of their parents, and students of University of Port Harcourt. The four students were also occasional roommates. Ugonna sometimes spent the night with Tekena who lived outside the campus because his residence on campus was broken into multiple times. Ugonna had a debtor called Bright who was owing him some undisclosed amount of money which bothered him much. In time, Ugonna managed to find out Bright's particular location. He sought the help of his cousin Lloyd, childhood and longtime friend Tekena and roommate Chiadika. Together, four of them ventured into a journey of no return. The four students finally arrived in the house of the debtor and in the cause of settling the debt, a misunderstanding ensued which turned sour and eventually turned into a fight.

A neighbor of the debtor heard the noise and started screaming, claiming that the men were there to steal laptops and mobile phones. The vigilante group was alerted with the impression that the students were the criminals disturbing the community. The four men were caught, chased through the streets by the stick and stone-wielding vigilantes, stripped naked, beaten and tortured until they were almost unconscious. Afterwards, in the presence of a crowd, they were dragged through mud, had concrete slabs dropped on their heads and car tires filled with petrol wrapped around their necks (thus "necklacing") in order to burn them.[3]

A sister of Tekena was nearby and discovered that her brother was about to be killed via "jungle justice." She tried to intervene and rescue him with his friends by screaming at the top of her voice at the mob and reiterating their innocence but she was overpowered by the size of the mob. People from the mob told her to flee. In a last attempt to save her brother's life, she decided to contact other family members and the police, but the men had been killed by the time the required assistance was sought. The murders were filmed with a mobile phone and uploaded on the internet.[1][4][5]

Reactions[edit]

The video, 3 and a half minutes footage showing them laying on the ground "necklaced", beaten multiple times and finally being set fire, went viral, with most viewers condemning the crime. Condolences were sent to the families of the victims. The Senate condemned the jungle justice that members of the community carried out where the four students were hurriedly murdered without trial in the presence of a crowd. Students of the University protested the murders and went on rampage by rioting and destroying properties in the community where the students had been lynched.

Aftermath[edit]

The lynching was widely viewed in Nigeria and the rest of the world. The crime further exposed the "jungle justice" or "mob justice"' which was still prevalent in Nigeria, as well as exposed some loopholes in Nigeria's law enforcement system. Several people were arrested in connection with the crime.

On July 31 2017,4 years and 9 months after the horrid incident, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday sentenced to death a Police Sergeant, Mr. Lucky Orji, David Chinasa Ogbada and Ikechukwu Louis Amadi, (aka Kapoon) for their active involvement in the murder of the four students of University of Port Harcourt.

The court also discharged and acquitted four of the suspects in the trial, Saviour Johnny, Abiodun Yusuf, Joshua Ekpe and Cyril Abang. [1][5][6][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Vladimir Duthiers (November 26, 2012). "Did misunderstanding lead to horrific Nigeria mob killings?". CNN. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "Real Story Behind The Burning Alive Of Four UNIPORT Students In Port Harcourt Yesterday". Information Nigeria. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  3. ^ "The true story about the 4 Murdered Uniport students". Elombah. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  4. ^ Tony John (October 12, 2012). "Aluu 4: I watched them kill my brother – Tekena's sister". The Sun. Retrieved August 1, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b Matt Blake (November 27, 2012). "'Necklace' lynchings that shocked Africa: Agonising deaths of four students who were burned alive is posted online". United Kingdom: Daily Mail. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  6. ^ "Aluu 4 Killing: Is Justice Dead In Nigeria??? Group Laments Delay In Trial Of Suspects". Osun defender. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "Murder: Uniport students on rampage, set omuokiri, aluu ablaze". The Vanguard. Retrieved August 1, 2015.