This elderly woman pictured above escaped lynching on Wednesday after being accused of being a bird and witch in the Ajegunle area of Lagos State.
According to residents of Ojo Road, where the purported transformation took place, the woman was a black bird before suddenly turning into a human being. Hundreds of residents were said to have gathered around the woman to lynch her.
An eyewitness, Chike, said he was sitting in front of a compound with his girlfriend when they saw three black birds flying. He said it seemed as if the birds were involved in a fight and as he was watching, suddenly, one of the birds fell into a moving van belonging to the Eko Electricity Distribution Company while the other two flew away.
“The bird suddenly turned to an old woman of about 80. People were shocked as they saw the woman rolling on the road and blood gushing out from her forehead. When the crowd was interrogating her, she said she was a witch and that she came from Ibadan for a meeting in Lagos but as they were returning home they missed their way and wasted so much time hovering in the area till daybreak. The woman claimed she fell because she was tired of flying.”
It was learnt that as the woman was about to be lynched, the traditional ruler of Layeni Community, Baale Rafiu Olayeni, arrived the scene and pleaded with the angry people not to take laws into their hands.
Olayeni told Punch correspondent that he called the Divisional Police Officer of Layeni Police Division, CSP Chijioke Ndu, and he drafted anti- robbery policemen to the scene, rescued the woman and took her to the station. Hundreds of spectators were said to have followed them to the station.
The traditional leader said:
“People told me the woman fell down as a bird but I did not believe them. I had to rescue the old woman before the mob lynches her as they claimed she was a witch. Sometimes the reasoning of old people could be compared to that of a small child because of the effects of old age.”
At the station, however, the police found it difficult to control the mammoth crowd that had come to see the alleged witch. It was learnt that the DPO had to call for reinforcement from Ajegunle and Amukoko divisions before he could handle the crowd as some people were bent on lynching the woman.
The policemen were said to have fired tear gas at the crowd and dispersed them from the station.
It was learnt that the woman was subsequently transferred to the Area B Command in Apapa for further investigation. It was gathered that this was the seventh lynching the police had prevented this month.
Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, could not be reached for comment.