The authorities are currently searching for a group of individuals who, on November 4, 2023, lynched a boda boda cyclist, Francis Abraham Otim, under the false suspicion of being a motorcycle thief. Otim, a 33-year-old mason and resident of Ogengo cell in Ireda East ward, Lira City, had been working part-time as a boda boda rider. He tragically lost his life due to a case of mistaken identity.
The unfortunate incident began when Otim picked up unidentified passengers on his red Bajaj motorcycle with the registration number UFF 350V. They were involved in an accident on their way to Angwetangwet cell in Lira City, resulting in injuries to the passengers. Otim rushed them to Beem Clinic in Lira City for treatment, but things took a grim turn.
Relatives of the injured passengers arrived at the clinic and demanded a substantial sum of money from Otim for the medical expenses, which he could not provide. In an attempt to escape and report the situation to the police, Otim left the clinic, but he was pursued by the irate relatives who accused him of theft.
A group of people, including other boda boda cyclists, chased and apprehended Otim, subjecting him to a brutal beating and pelting him with stones. In response to the escalating violence, the Police from Juba Road Police Post intervened by firing warning shots to disperse the mob. They transported the injured Otim to Lira Regional Referral Hospital, but sadly, he succumbed to his injuries upon arrival.
Otim’s death is a tragic loss, leaving behind a wife and two young children. Regional Police spokesperson Patrick Jimmy Okema confirmed the incident, and the police are actively investigating and pursuing those responsible for this suspected mob murder. He emphasized the need for the public to refrain from resorting to such primitive methods of conflict resolution and instead seek lawful avenues. Those found responsible for this horrific act will face murder charges in the court of law.
It is worth noting that mob killings have become a distressing issue in the Lango sub-region, and more often than not, the perpetrators go unpunished. This highlights the pressing need to address and deter such actions.