From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
A young man was, yesterday, set ablaze for allegedly attempting to steal a motorcycle, at the Wurukum Market area of Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Eyewitnesses told newsmen that the suspected motorcycle thief was caught while he was trying to use a master key to unlock a motorcycle, which the owner had just parked and entered the market.
“Some onlookers, who saw all that was happening, raised the alarm which made the thief to start running away.
“Luck, however, ran out on him as some youths caught him and wasted no time in sourcing for a used tyre, petrol and matches to set him ablaze. As I speak to you now, smoke from his remains is billowing as I can see from where I’m standing,” the eyewitness narrated.
One of our sources, who simply gave his name as Timothy, explained that the angry mob lynched the suspect because incidents of theft and armed robbery at the Wurukum area were becoming very worrisome.
“Almost on a daily basis, these bad boys keep snatching one thing or another from innocent and unsuspecting members of the public. I guess that’s why the people were angry that this one dared to steal in broad day light.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer PPRO, Catherine Anene, who confirmed the report condemned the act, saying some of the times, the victims of such jungle justices are innocent after all.
She advised members of the public against taking laws into their hands, but rather hand over any suspect to the police for proper investigation and prosecution.
“Incident confirmed, and the act of setting a human being ablaze is condemned by the Command. There are legal means of handling such issues,” Anene said.