A MIDDLE-AGED Nigerian man was in the early hours of Tuesday burnt to death by an angry mob at Ekpo Edem in Calabar South for stealing a fowl.
Nigerian publication The Vanguard reported on Wednesday that an eyewitness, George Asuquo, said: ‘The victim has been in the habit of stealing things like a car battery, generators and livestock including chickens in the neighbourhood, but people have become wiser.
‘He never knew that word has gotten out about his illicit activities in the area. Although when he was caught last year by vigilantes, he was given the last warning which he did not heed to.
‘He came as usual in the early hour of the day to steal some chicken, but the chicken started making noise, which alerted people that an intruder was in the environment.
‘The people mobilised and laid siege for him, he was apprehended at about 4am, the people refused to let him off the hook this time, hence they didn’t wait for too long before beating him up and setting him ablaze for the fowl he stole,’ Asuquo was quoted as saying.
Police spokesperson Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the report, told the publication it was unfortunate that such a barbaric act had happened again in Calabar.
The publication reported that Ugbo warned members of the public to desist from taking the law into their own hands but rather to hand over suspects to the police.
‘We are not supporting criminals and their activities, but people must understand that jungle justice is against the law, they should hand over suspects to the police for further investigation and prosecution,’ she said.