Okon Bassey in Uyo
Two middle-age men suspected to be armed robbers have been burnt to death Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The attack by the mob on the suspected robbers reportedly took place last Tuesday night when they were allegedly trying to rob a pregnant woman at the flyover on Olu Obasanjo Way in Uyo, the state capital.
An eyewitness said the incident occurred at about 09:00p.m. when the pregnant woman was surrounded by the robbers as she alighted from a motorbike.
Though the rider had, according to an eye witness account, taken off after dropping his passenger, he was immediately compelled to turn back because of the screaming from his pregnant passenger.
The eyewitness, who refused to disclose his name, said two out of the four robbers, on sighting the motorcyclist, fled after they had successfully dispossessed the lady of her valuable items, while the other two were not fortunate to escape.
Another eyewitness and resident of the area, who also pleaded anonymity, said the aggrieved motorcyclist, who immediately alerted others, engaged in a battle with the hoodlums and rescued the woman who had sustained a severe hand injury in the process.
“Luck ran out of two of them when they were overpowered by men who beat, stoned them and locked them up in a tunnel, and consequently set them ablaze,” the eye witness recounted
Another resident of the area, Mrs. Arit Archibong, regretted that the flyover area has been a den of criminals for some years now, adding that about four rape cases have been reported that took place in the tunnel in December 2019.
Other residents who spoke with journalists blame the crime on the power blackout and lack of security in the area.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Odiko Macdon, frowned at the jungle justice, stressing that such act has no place in the law.
According to him, “It is unfortunate that they were already set ablaze before we got there. Jungle justice has no place in the law. Every accused is innocent until proven guilty by the law.”
The PPRO, who cautioned that the state Police Command would no longer tolerate such acts, declared that it was better for nine thieves to go unpunished than for one innocent person to be killed in error.
“We have liaised with the state waste management authority to evacuate the remains while investigations are ongoing to unravel those behind the act,” he stated.