Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
FIVE men suspected to be armed robbers were, on Saturday evening, burnt to death in Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
They were reportedly caught after they were attempting to dispossess an operator of his tricycle.
It was gathered that the incident took place at old Nkpor road, close to the headquarters of People’s Club Onitsha.
A source said the men tried to steal a tricycle from the owner, in broad daylight, when they ran out of luck and were caught.
“Mob that gathered rounded up the men and refused the advice of some people to call in the police.
“They first started by stripping the men naked and beating them up, and eventually, some people brought old tyres and fuel, and they were set ablaze.
“It was a very bad sight today, and everyone watched and supervised, while the men burnt to death,” the source said.
The Anambra State Police Command has, however, confirmed the incident through its spokesperson, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga.
He said the incident happened shortly before operatives of the command arrived the scene.
Ikenga said: “Before the police operatives got to the scene at about 5:30p.m, the suspects had already been set ablaze.
“The operatives, however, recovered five mobile phones of different brands and a tricycle suspected to have been stolen by the suspects who were lynched.”
He said the command will continue to condemn such acts in totality, insisting that people should always take suspects to police stations whenever they are apprehended.
He said such gesture would help the police to conduct proper investigations into the activities of the suspects and bring them to justice under extant laws.
He said investigation had commenced on the matter and that further development would be communicated to journalists.
Stonix News reports that Onitsha- is notorious for jungle justice, and many robbers and petty thieves are known to have been killed or even burnt alive by angry mob over suspicion that they usually buy their ways through when handed over to the police.