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Mob Rule
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Photo Page of Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Source: Ghanaian Times

Mob Rule

Vigilante groups are gradually emerging in some neigbourhoods within the Accra metropolis apparently in response to increasing reports of crime in such areas.

Over the past four weeks some residents of parts of North Kaneshie, Adabraka and Lartebiokorshie have been living in a state of fear because of frequent reports of robbery attacks, carjacking and mobile phone snatching, by machete or gun-wielding gangs of young men driving in taxi cabs or on motor bikes.

There seems to be no other options available to the youth in those areas, than to constitute themselves into vigilante groups to deal with such criminals the way they deem fit.

In the early hours of yesterday, a man believed to be in his mid twenties, was lynched by a mob for allegedly attempting to snatch a mobile phone from a woman around the Piccadilly factory area, near Dan?s Bar at North Kaneshie.

A source close to the group told the Times that at about 11pm on Monday, a gang of about four machete-wielding young men accosted the young women and demanded that she hands over her mobile phone to them.

According to the source, the woman took to her heels and was chased by the gang until she luckily ran into the vigilante group who were patrolling the vicinity.

The source said the other three members of the gang managed to escape but luck run out for the fourth who was lynched and dragged to a spot in front of a fuel filling station at North Kaneshie.

As at press time yesterday when the Times was leaving the scene the body was still lying there covered with a pack of card board.

The cement blocks and lorry tyres were beside it.

The Kaneshie Divisional Crime Officer, Joseph Kwame Amoah, told the Times that the police were informed yesterday morning that the body of a man aged about 30 was lying in front of a fuel filling station at North Kaneshie.

Mr. Amoah said nobody in the area was prepared to talk, but the police suspect that he might have been killed elsewhere and brought to the spot.

Mr. Amoah said though no arrests have been made, investigations are still continuing.

Times learnt that the formation of the vigilante group in the area was prompted by an attack on a man, three weeks ago by a gang of robbers.

The man, who was said to be preparing for Muslim prayers at around 4.30am, was attacked by the gang in front of his house and was inflicted with cutlass wounds.

Similar attacks at Adabraka and Lartebiokorshie have also tripped reprisals by some youth groups in these areas against suspected armed robbers.

About three weeks ago, a mob lynched a suspected armed robber at Adabraka, leading to a subsequent invasion of the area by a group claiming to be related to the deceased and promising revenge.

Last week some residents of Lartebiokorshie also lynched two suspected robbers after a series of robberies in the area.

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