By Ifeizu Joe
Five men suspected to be robbers were on Saturday evening burnt to death in Onitsha, Anambra State, after they attempted to disposes an operator of his tricycle.
The incident took place at old Nkpor road, close to the headquarters of People’s Club. A source said the men tried to steal a tricycle from the owner, in broad daylight, when they ran out of luck and were caught.
“Mob that gathered after the men were rounded up, refused the advice of some people to call in the police. They first started by striping the men naked and beating them up, and eventually, some people brought old tyres and fuel, and they were set ablaze.
“It was a very bad sight today, and everyone watched and supervised, while the men burnt to death,” the source said.
Anambra State however confirmed the incident through its spokesperson, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, saying the incident happened shortly before operatives of the command arrived the scene.
Ikenga said: “Before the police operatives got to the scene at about 5:30pm, the suspects have already been set ablaze.
“The operatives however recovered five mobile phones of different brands and a tricycle suspected to have been stolen by the suspects who were lynched.”
He said the command will continue to condemn such acts in totality, insisting that people should always take suspects to police stations whenever they are apprehended, as it will help the police to conduct proper investigations into the activities of the suspects and bring them to justice under extant laws.
He said investigation had commenced on the matter and that further development will be communicated to journalists.
Onitsha- is notorious for jungle justice, and many rob ers and petty thieves are known to have been killed or even burnt alive by angry mob.
Many believe that handing the suspect to the police will only give them the opportunity to bribe their way out, and continue terrorizing the people.