The Anambra State Police Command on Thursday said it rescued two persons accused of ritual killing by an irate mob in the Ihiala Local Government Area of the state from being lynched.
In a video that went viral, a man and a woman were seen being paraded naked by members of the community as they carried the corpses of the victims they were accused of killing in a wheelbarrow round the area.
A background voice alleged that the two of them killed three persons to use them for money rituals before they were caught by the villagers.
But reacting to the development on Thursday, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said the incident was not connected to the ritual killing but a case of murder.
Ikenga said the man and the woman, who were humiliated and paraded as shown in the video by the angry mob, were erroneously accused of killing because they were seen at the scene where the murder took place.
He added that security operatives, acting on information, stormed the area and rescued the man and woman while the corpses of the deceased were deposited in a morgue.
He said the state Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, while reacting to the incident, sued for calm and ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Awka for a comprehensive investigation.
He said, “The command operatives, around 10am on Wednesday, rescued two victims who were about to be lynched by an angry mob at the Total Junction, the Ihiala Local Government Area.
“To set the records straight, it is not a case of ritual killing, but a pure incident of murder. Preliminary information revealed that the two victims, a man and a woman, who were humiliated and paraded as shown in the video by the angry mob, were erroneously accused by the mob as they were seen at the scene where the murder took place.
“Also, a suspect has been arrested in connection with the murder while the victims (man and woman) are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.”