By Emma Unah
A twenty five year old man, John Ator, on Wednesday was allegedly caught stealing two basins of garri at the Marian market and was about to be lynched when he dramatically escaped while the mob was hunting for petrol to set him alight.
The man who was caught at the market with two basins of garrri was about to be lynched when he escaped with a tire hung on his neck waiting for fuel.
Ator who is said to have formed the habit of stealing garri from the market was unlucky on Wednesday as he was caught in the act when the traders decided to lay ambush for him.
One of the market managers who pleaded anonymity stated that following reports of frequent garri theft in the market, they decided to lay ambush to find out who the thief was.
“Ninety nine days for the thief, and one day for the owner. That is the case with this young man, John Ator, who is now caught as a garri thief who has been a thorn in the flesh of garri women traders at Marian Market, Calabar as he was caught stealing two basins of garri in one of the shops in the market early hours of this morning (Wednesday), the man stated.
He narrated further that this act of stealing garri which has become a regular occurrence at Marian market without knowing those behind the crime got to its peak when traders began suspecting one another so the market authorities decided to lay ambush for the thief. Fortunately for the traders the thief was caught.
The traders angered by the action of the thief descended on him in their numbers and stripped him naked and hung a used tyre around his neck in readiness to roast him alive but the absence of fuel stalled their action. It was while waiting for fuel that the thief eloped.
A search party was dispatched to comb the neighbourhood to track him but could not locate him.