On the Go

Report: 391 mob killings recorded in Nigeria in four years

BY Ayodele Oluwafemi


At least 391 persons have been killed by mobs across several states in Nigeria between 2019 and May 2022, according to a report by SB Morgen (SBM) Intelligence.

This is contained in SB Morgen’s latest report titled ‘Mob Justice in Nigeria, 2019 to Date’.

The report examined the frequency of mob justice, also known as jungle justice, across the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT) as well as the number of casualties from January 2019 to date.

According to the report, 391 persons were killed in 279 incidents in the period under review.


In the report, the southern part of the country “proved deadlier” than the north in terms of mob justice as 223 deaths were recorded in the former, while the latter recorded 168 deaths.

In terms of frequency, the south recorded 197 incidents out of the 279 incidents recorded in the period under review.

“Although the bloodiest incidents were both in the North, first when residents of Majifa in Kankara LGA of Katsina state took matters into their own hands and lynched bandits who had previously attacked them in April 2021, killing 33, and in Tangaza in Tangaza LGA of Sokoto State in September 2021 where 13 people were killed after residents tracked down and killed bandits,” the report reads.


“In terms of frequency of lynchings, in the last four years, the South has a far higher frequency with 197 of the 279 incidents reported, two and half times the north’s 82.

“This means that the south is more dangerous than the north as lynching is more likely to occur in the south. Lynchings in the south are likelier to be for economic reasons and tend to have victims in the low single digits while except for two cases, one in Oyo, and the other in Rivers both in 2020, none of the incidents in the south had up to eight victims in a single incident.

“The south-west is by far the most violent geopolitical zone with regard to mob justice as over the period under review there have been 100 incidents or 36% of the total.

“In all regions, incidents of mob justice have increased in frequency in the last two years, indicating that more Nigerians are losing trust and/or respect for state adjudication and prefer to resort to extrajudicial means for restitution.”

Geopolitical zones Frequency of casualties
North-east 26
North-west 100
North-central 42
South-east 43
South-west 98
South-south 82
Total 391

Table showing mob killings across zones 


On May 11, two men were burnt to death by a mob at Ijesha axis of Lagos over alleged theft of mobile phones.

Hours later, Deborah Emmanuel, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto state, was killed by a mob over alleged blasphemy.

Shortly afterwards, a sound engineer identified as David Imoh was lynched in the Lekki axis of Lagos state.

Meanwhile, on May 13, a teenager accused of stealing a motorcycle was burnt to death by a mob in Auchi, Etsako west.


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