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29.02.2024 Featured ‘Mad Couple Labelled Innocent Lagos Driver a Thief After Bashing His Car. He Was Almost Beaten to Death’

Published 29th Feb, 2024

By Opeyemi Lawal

When Daniel Chibuzor, a Lagos-based commercial driver, dropped off his last batch of passengers in Ojuelegba, Lagos State, on February 27, he had no idea his return trip to his bus park in Aguda would nearly cost him his life.

Chibuzor, who hails from the eastern part of Nigeria, told FIJ that he was nearly lynched by a mob after some strange couple accused him of robbing them of their possessions.

He stated that his initial face-off with the couple started after he attempted to overtake them in traffic around Agboni bus stop.

“I was returning from Ojuelegba to Aguda Market, which is also by the bus park. I was alone in the bus, as I had dropped off all my passengers,” he told FIJ.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Gov’t Hasn’t Paid for One Laboratory Built in Shehu Idris College of Health Sciences in 2020 — Contractor in Serious Debt

“On getting to Agboni by Nuru Oniwo, I noticed that the vehicle in front me wasn’t moving fast enough and there was no traffic up front. I used my horn, but they didn’t budge. I tried to overtake them but they also blocked me immediately.

“After following them for a while, I overtook them, but they brushed my mini-bus and nearly sent me into a nearby drainage, but I kept moving as I had to book for my next turn at my park.”

Chibuzor a day before the incident

The commercial driver, who studied public administration in school, said that, unknown to him, the couple kept trailing him. They accosted him the moment they got the chance and immediately called him a thief.

“After booking my turn, I left the park and drove to Ayetoro Junction to deliver a message for one of my colleagues. Unknown to me, the same couple had been stalking me. I got to the junction and the man’s wife came down from their vehicle, opened the passenger door of my bus and began to shout ‘thief, thief,'” he said.

“I was shocked, and as I was still trying to understand what was happening, people in the neighbourhood started to advance towards me with different kinds of weapons. I saw this and ran for my life.”

JUNGLE JUSTICE FOR NOTHING

Chibuzor after the incident

Chibuzor said that as he ran, the mob kept pressing in and grew larger. They kept after him even after a few people tried to prove his innocence. Eventually, they caught up with him and beat him till he nearly passed out. He stated that with every attempt he made to establish his innocence, the mob grew wilder and meted out more punishments on him.

“Afterwards, they decided to take me back to Ayetoro Junction, where the woman had first accused me of robbing her. We got there and they started another round of beating. There, they bit me so badly, tore my clothes, made me sit on the floor and dehumanised me,” he said.

“They dug into my pocket and stole the N15,000 I had on me. It was the money I had worked for that day. Another had his hands in my pocket to take my phone, but I held it tightly.

“Right there, it seemed like death was inescapable, as I could feel it so close to me. All the while, the people would just come and beat me for fun in the name of catching a thief.

READ ALSO: Police Superintendent Puts House Up for Sale to Pay Ransom for Kidnapped Children

“While they were still beating me, I saw a man who held a glass he wanted to hit on my neck. I saw it coming and managed to look him in the eye, only to realise he was my kinsman.

“I summoned the courage to tell him I was being accused of what I knew nothing about and urged him to help me ask what I stole from them. When he did, the couple said I stole the woman’s handbag, phone and wristwatch. They looked for it and found it in the same couple’s car.”

Chibuzor said this was when the narrative changed and people began to leave the scene one after the other, leaving him helpless, beaten and battered on the floor.

“This was just how I escaped death that day,” he told FIJ.

“I suffered several bruises and my body is currently in pain. I have severe chest pain and have to undergo X-ray examinations for what I knew nothing about.”

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Published 29th Feb, 2024

By Opeyemi Lawal

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