By Edem Edem, Calabar
A man suspected of car battery theft was on Monday burnt to death by an angry mob at Yellow Duke Street in Calabar, Cross River State. The incident took place at 11:am
The car battery thief suspect was allegedly caught red handed in the act.
One of his killers, speaking under anonymity, said he took part in the burning of the deceased because he has been terrorizing the area for a long time without assistance from the Police which often set him free anytime he was caught and handed over.
“The police always granted him bail. The deceased specialized in stealing car batteries around the area. With his death, car owners in the area can now park their cars with a rest of mind. This guy lying down here deserves to die. We had to do the needful because if you hand him over to the police, he will be granted bail through a lawyer.
“Luck ran out of him today when he went to steal a car battery and unknown to him that the car had an alarm. As soon as he went close and touched the car bonnet, the alarmed rang which drew the attention of the owner. The car owner quickly rushed out of his house out and started shouting for help and in the process, he got help from some youths in the area who recognized the guy, caught him and set him ablaze immediately”.
“Car battery is very costly now; the prices range from N27, 000 to N30, 000. This guy will steal batteries and sell at a giveaway price, sometimes at N10,000 just to get money to smoke cigarette and drink beer’’, he lamented.
An eyewitness, Miss Patricia Inem, a resident in the area who refused to mention the name of the deceased, said that all appeals to the mob proved abortive.
When contacted, ASP Irene Ugbo, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), said in a telephone interview that the command was aware of the incident.
“We have cautioned residents against jungle justice and taking the laws into their hands. It is wrong to take the life of an individual without proper trial.
“We have said it times without number that any suspected armed robber that is caught by concerned residents should be handed over to the police for interrogation and prosecution’’.
No fewer than seven suspected armed robbers have been set ablaze by angry mob in Calabar metropolis in the month of February, 2017 alone.