By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—Nemesis caught up with 30-year-old Eyo Inyang Effiom in the early hours of yesterday, as he was apprehended by a vigilante group at Edgerton Street in Calabar, Cross River State, while trying to vandalize a transformer in the area.
Vanguard learned that Eyo, who had been allegedly vandalizing transformers in the locality for more than two years, was caught around 2a.m. by the vigilante while he was trying to remove the armoured cable from a transformer at Edgerton Street, by John Stone Street, Calabar South.
A member of the vigilante, Mr. Nkpama Asim, told Vanguard that he saw someone loitering around the transformer at about 1a.m. this morning and then alerted other members of the group, who laid an ambush.
He said: “We knew he was the one because we chased him from a transformer he was trying to vandalize sometime last month, but he escaped with some machete cuts.
“Immediately I saw I him, I recognized him and alerted my colleagues with our signal and we ambushed him.”
Asim said the suspect and his group had been vandalizing transformers in and around the metropolis for over two years.
A community leader in the area, Chief Ika Affiong, said Eyo and his gang had been removing armoured cable and other components from the transformers in the area for a very long time, despite the protective gears put on transformers in Calabar.
He said: “We are really surprised because Eyo lives in this neighbourhood; his house is just at 4, John Stone.
“He has been doing this consistently for two years now. This is the second time in March alone. But the burden has been on us to replace any component that is vandalized.
“But for Mr. Uwem Eshiet, who runs a cold room, that took it on himself to provide the funds most times, we would be in darkness for years.
“The armoured cable alone cost N60,000. We are glad that a vigilante was set up to check these criminals.”
Mr. Eshiet told Vanguard: “Because of these hoodlums, I have spent more than N1.5 million in trying to ensure that there is electricity in the area.”
Eyo told Vanguard: “When I steal the cable, I have an Alhaji at Bogobiri that comes with his vehicle as early as 3a.m. to carry the items and pay me cash.”