By Ochuko Akuopha, UGHELLI
A suspected ritualist disguised as a lunatic was Thursday, reportedly set ablaze by a mob at Ughelli, headquarters of Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State.
There were, however, conflicting accounts on the circumstances that led to the incident which took place at the front of the Otovwodo Primary School.
A source said the suspect had drawn the suspicion of some persons who sighted him making a conversation with an expensive Android phone in front of the school.
“Everyone was surprised by what they had seen and some persons tried to approach the mad man. On seeing that he had been noticed, he quickly pulled out the SIM card from the phone, swallowed it and began to flee.
“Everybody wondered how a mad man could be using such an expensive Android phone. When he started running and swallowed the SIM card, it became clear that he was not a mad man.
“He was caught and they began to beat him to get information from him. In the process of beating him, some persons came and said that this same mad man was arrested about two weeks ago by the police after he performed the same act of swallowing a SIM card when he was caught discussing on the phone with someone about selling body parts.
“On hearing that he was arrested and released, the mob got angry and set him ablaze immediately.”
Another source, however, alleged that he was burnt alive after he was seen making a conversation with an expensive Android phone, while a little boy and a sharp object kept in a sack was found in his possession.
The source who disclosed the boy was rescued by the mob, said the mad man swallowed the SIM card of the phone. He said the man had earlier been arrested and released by the police.
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, Mr Bright Edafe, confirmed that someone was set ablaze in the metropolis. He however said he does not know the reason why the man was burnt.