But for the timely intervention of members of the Nigeria Police Force, a man in his late 30s would have been lynched by mob action for allegedly kidnapping a four- year-old girl on her way back from school.
The incident, which happened around 2pm on Wednesday afternoon along Ahmadu Bello way along Wuse-Jahi axis in Abuja, had the irate mob beating the ‘kidnapper’ when Blueprint visited the scene.
The wounded ‘kidnapper’ was bleeding from the head and face as the mob kept hitting him with every available object that could inflict injury, even as he was being protected by a lone policeman.
However, the policeman had to call for help from his colleagues at Life Camp police station who arrived within minutes to rescue the kidnapper, who is currently gasping for breath.
Speaking to Blueprint, an eyewitness who identified himself as James, who operates a car wash service along Ahmadu Bello expressway, revealed that the rescued ‘kidnapper’ had trailed the school girl, who was playing on her way back from school, grabbed and threw her down the bridge between Next Cash and Carry shopping mall and NAF Conference Centre along Jahi.
James said: “It was just like in the movies. I was washing the car of a client when suddenly I looked up and saw the man grab, fling the school girl down the bridge. It happened within seconds, I had just seen the little pass me by, playing along the pavement of the bridge. Therefore, imagine my surprise when the boy grabbed her and dumped her down the bridge, possibly for his gang members waiting under the bridge to grab the school girl and escape with her through the other end.
“I felt paralyzed for a few seconds, but I charged at him when I recovered my senses. I grappled with him and we started fighting. I was determined to also throw him down the bridge, but he resisted me by intertwining his right leg with my left leg. We were struggling when passersby rushed to us. Many people went down the bridge to rescue the little girl and others started beating him. He is not mad. He had an ATM card with him, an android phone and was well dressed. But for the intervention of the police, he would have been dead within minutes.”