By Chioma Onuegbu
Uyo—A young man in his early 30s was burnt to death on Tuesday by youths at Urua Ekpa Junction, Uyo, while allegedly trying to escape with a stolen motorcycle.
It was gathered that the unidentified victim was a serial motorcycle thief, terrorising the area.
An eyewitness and resident who simply identified himself as Inyang, told Vanguard yesterday that the motorcycle thief confessed to have come from Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area before he was burnt to death.
Inyang, who is a commercial tricycle operator, claimed the victim had succeeded in stealing several motorcycles around the junction until Tuesday when luck ran out on him.
Inyang explained that “a motorcyclist dropped a passenger at the junction and decided to enter somewhere to eat. The motorcycle thief may have been watching him.
“As he was trying to escape with the motorcycle, the owner spotted him and started shouting ‘thief, thief,”. Youths came out and caught him.
“Immediately, they brought tyre, put it on his neck and then set him ablaze.
“I think the residents have been planning how to catch him, because he robbed so many motorcyclists of their means of livelihood.”
Contacted, Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Odiko Macdon, confirmed the incident, noting that the information the Police received was that the residents monitored the serial motorcycle thief and caught him.
Macdon said it was unfortunate that the youths took laws into their hands instead of handing over the suspect to the Police, stressing that the law kicks against jungle justice.
According to him, “jungle justice is what we don’t encourage. We have always advocated that members of the public should desist from such act.
“Let us avoid it totally because there are situations where an innocent person may be lynched. Whenever a criminal is caught, the person should be handed over to the Police.”