By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—A 32-year-old man, Mr. Simon Mbam, of Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State has committed suicide after he was tortured by some villagers for allegedly stealing N1,000 from a shop in the market.
While late Simon and his friends were busy sipping their drinks, the owner of the shop raised an alarm over a missing N1,000 in his carton of drinks, but no customer admitted to haven taken the money.
The alarm raised by the shop owner attracted villagers who stormed the scene and gave the suspects till the following day to return the money or face the consequences.
It was learned that the said missing money was found at the door step of the shop, but when the villagers who were determined to get to the root of the matter gathered, the owner of the shop insisted on knowing the person behind the act.
Vanguard further gathered that the suspect, who later confessed to the crime, was allegedly beaten by the irate villagers until he started bleeding and losing consciousness.
They demanded that he should be treated like a thief, even as he was fined two goats, two crates of beer and N5,000, which were immediately provided by the suspect’s mother (names withheld).
It was gathered that the village head rejected what the suspect’s mother brought, insisting that an additional N5,000 should be provided so that the matter would be completely resolved without involving the police.
This second demand by the villagers made the suspect, who felt humiliated by the entire process, escape from his captors and jumped into Aku Pond, which was not far from the market square.
All efforts to rescue him on time proved abortive as he drowned before his body was retrieved by the villagers.
Meanwhile, four persons including the village head, had been arrested by the police after the mother of the victim reported the matter.