The timely intervention n of Joint Task Force, JTF, saved a 30 year-old man from being lynched yesterday in Abak Town, Abak local government area, following allegation of stealing a motorcycle. The alleged thief simply identified as Udo was said to have gone to a church (name withheld) along Offot Street in company of a partner in crime to steal the motorcycle.
While the operation succeeded as his accomplice disappeared with the missing motorcycle, Udo was however not lucky as church officials alerted passer-by who promptly apprehended him.As the angry mob began to gather, various weapons ranging from matchets, wire and sticks of different sizes were used on him as he was paraded naked to ‘Golgota” to be burnt.
Udo who is said to hail from Ikot Akpabio in Afaha Obong told the angry mob that he was not a thief. He however failed to account for the missing motorcycle.Our crime desk gathered from a member of the church who refused to mention his name that yesterday missing motorcycle was the third as two had already got lost to thieves, thus, the burning anger from both members of the church and the public.
Our crime correspondent who rushed to the scene of the crime reported that policemen earlier alerted of the planned lynching of the thief failed to rescue him as they could not control the angry mob. It was the prompt intervention of JTF led by four army officers that saved the situation as they dared the mob who had already put him on tyres, poured fuel on him and was about to be set ablaze.
Udo was rescued and put inside their vehicle and sped off.Reacting to the incident, while some residents condemned the attempt to lynched the suspected thief, others were of the opinion t hat his being set ablaze would have served as deterrent to other thieves that have made life difficult for them.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Etim Dickson condemned the attempt by members of the public to take laws into their hands.
He said “when suspected criminals are caught, the right thing to do is to hand them over to the law enforcement agents for investigation and prosecution”.Members of the public should not indulge in jungle justice as that itself is against the law”.