‘Dark October’ True Story And Ending, Explained: What Happened To Aluu 4?

Self-proclaimed justice, trial by fire, jungle justice, etc., all are proof that the atrocities of humanity have no bounds. This is what the incident on which the film “Dark October” is based tells us. Even though the film speaks about jungle violence in Nigeria, we cannot help but admit that the same thing would have happened and perhaps does happen in many other places all around the world. The only difference is that while in Nigeria, it is termed jungle violence, in other parts of the world, there are specific bodies, organizations, and extremist groups that carry out such kind of heinous crimes. The film, which has been facing backlash from the families of the students lynched as they weren’t consulted before the film was made, is nevertheless a gory and agonizing reenactment of what happened in Nigeria in 2012. Here’s what really happened.

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Spoilers Ahead


‘Dark October’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?

Uchenna, AKA Tizzy, and Leonard, AKA Big L, are childhood friends who dream of making it big in life as rappers. However, they need money to produce their music. They have already earned something of a reputation at a rap battle, and it has earned them a spot at the Student Union Week event. However, the two guys, along with two of their friends, decide to get Tizzy’s money back from Wisdom (a hitman for Southside Boys), the guy who bought sneakers from him but never paid for them. The first time Tizzy and Big L visit the Aluu community, they are warned by a woman of the dangerous situation the place is currently in. So the next time, on October 5, all four boys take along a bodyguard named Gabriel, who has been sent by his boss, who has his own matter to settle with Wisdom. Upon arriving at Wisdom’s place, Wisdom rushes out, screaming that it is being robbed. Moreover, Gabriel also tries to shoot him but fails and escapes. The four students, including Tizzy and Big L, are “caught” by the local militia and the locals who decide to serve justice. The guys are brutally lynched without the police or the local authorities taking any action. Moreover, the whole incident is recorded on phones by those watching the boys being set on fire.

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The True Story

In the early hours of October 5, 2012, four students from the University of Port Harcourt, Lloyd Toku-Mike, Tekena Friday Elkanah, Ugonna Kelechi Obuzor, and Chidiala Loroson Biringa, aged 19 and 20, visited the Aluu Community, River State, Nigeria, to take money back from a debtor but ended up being accused of being robbers. They were intercepted by the local vigilante group that, along with the local folk, beat them up, ripped their clothes, marched them in the streets of the community, and set them alight. Despite the incident sparking outrage across the world, “jungle justice” remains prevalent today in Nigeria with no proper action taken against it. The whole event is addressed as the Aluu 4 lynching.


The Tragic Human Life

The film does a strong job of establishing the friendship of the boys as well as their dreams, hopes, and aspirations. This works effectively to make the tragic ending hit hard on the viewers. What the film also does nicely is set the stage for a situation of conflict that prevails in the Aluu community. Not only do we find out about the robbing by men from Amnesty camp, but also the war among gangs (Gabriel’s and Wisdom’s). The former situation also confirms that the local people are in a state of panic and rage. In other words, the whole Aluu community is in a state of war. All it needs is a spark to ignite a fire. Unfortunately, the four innocent guys from the University of Port Harcourt found themselves in the middle of it.

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The Alternative

There is another perspective to this. When people have suffered so much and feel helpless about it, when they find a chance to settle scores, so to say, they lose the sense of right and wrong and pour out their rage and pain. The people of the Aluu community were the subject of theft and rape on almost a daily basis by men belonging to the Amnesty camp who carried out their atrocities in the early hours of the day. So when they heard of the four young men who had been caught stealing, they decided to punish them. And also, there are those who were waiting for an opportunity to prove themselves useful, in this case, the local militia and its captain. In the film, the captain finds Wisdom’s phone in his room but switches it off and hides it in his pocket so that no one can reach it. If the phone rings, Wisdom’s identity might be discovered, which would allow the guys to walk. So the captain, to prove himself and his team useful, hides evidence to prove that they are effective in their job of catching robbers. And the crowd falls straight into this trap.


Humanity – Where Are We?

The film, and by extension, the incident, is just proof of humanity’s remorseless urge for blood. Earlier, we used to hunt for survival, and that same urge has brought us where we stand today. As it is, survival today means not hunting but making others pay for their actions and protect the self, and this takes the shape of conflicts. The word “dark” in “Dark October” seems to symbolize the darkness that still persists in us, humans. This darkness doesn’t mean the unknown but the evil. And rightfully so; the incidents of the film prove this big time. And an even bigger proof of this is that despite all the outrage in response to the Aluu 4 incident, “jungle justice” still continues in Nigeria, with people burned alive or killed in other painful ways by the locals, more than 11 years later. And all we can do is watch in horror and share and comment.

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“Dark October” is a 2023 film directed by Toka McBaror and produced by acclaimed blogger Linda Ikeji. It is available on Netflix.

Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata’s greatest regret is the fact that he won’t be able to watch every movie and show ever made. And when he isn’t watching a movie or a show, he is busy thinking about them and how they are made; all while taking care of his hobbies. These include the usual suspects i.e. songs, long walks, books and PC games.

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