George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Three suspected transformer vandals were beaten to death Thursday by irate youths in Umuohiagu community, Ngor Okpala local government area and Egbelu Obube community in Owerri North council area of Imo State respectively. Two of the suspects whose names were given as Ifeanyi Mgbakabala and Kelechi Eke( aka Agwo which means a snake ), both indigenes of Amagwa kindred in Umuagwu village, Umuohiagu autonomous community while the name of the third suspect could not be ascertained as at press time .
A source from Umuohiagu community who simply identified himself as Ibole said that the suspects, who employed the use of charms specialized in vandalizing electricity transformers within the airport communities, were apprehended at Umuekwune kindred in Umuorisha village, attempting to vandalize the only remaining transformer in Umuohiagu. Ibole disclosed that the suspects who used to wear charms on their feet to hypnotize their victims had equally vandalized eight transformers in Umuohiagu in the past three months, which had thrown the community into darkness. He alleged that the suspects had also vandalized the cable being installed for the new radio house for the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri.
Saturday Sun also learnt about four weeks ago that the suspects had vandalized the transformer at the permanent base of the Nigeria Air Force at Umuowa, a development that had caused the detention of two Airforce personnel who were on night shift for three weeks.
It was further gathered that angered by the persistent vadalisation of the armoured cables and transformers, the various villages had mobilised youths when they learnt of the latest development at Umuekwune and alerted the Airforce men as they chased the suspects who ran into the surrounded area, but luck ran out on them, when the youths apprehended two of the culprits while one escaped.
Witnesses said the suspects were dragged to the major road before the airport, where they were about being set ablaze before Airforce officers arrived the scene. While Ifeanyi and Agwo were beaten to pulp before being handed over to Nigeria Airforce personnel, where they gave up the ghost shortly after following the severe beating they had received in the hands of the irate youths, the other suspect escaped to nearby community of Egbelu Obube in Owerri North where he was reportedly set ablaze by the youths of the village. Before they were beaten to death, the suspects, had reportedly confessed to have used black magic to cause people around their target points, including the guards at the Airforce Base, to go into deep sleep while they vandalized the transformers and cables. However , the apprehension of the suspects and their confession, it as gathered, led to the release of the detained Airforce personnel Friday morning.