By Jonathan Ugbal
A suspected car battery thief was yesterday (Tuesday) beaten severely by an angry mob at Akai Effa community in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
This is the second mob action against suspected criminals in Calabar in 48 hours with the first reported on Sunday, as one person was set ablaze at Edim Otop community, less than 4 kilometers away from the location of this incident.
The thief (unnamed) suspected to be in his early thirties is said to have been chased on Monday morning which he escaped being caught and on Tuesday afternoon, went back to a location close to the one he was chased on Monday and was this time caught and beaten by a mob.
The incident occurred at about 4:00 PM a few meters from Orange Resort located along MCC road.
Severely beaten with hands, stones and sticks, the mob had poured fuel on the suspected thief and dragged a tire from a nearby compound to burn him alive.
“He was lucky that as at the time they collected matches from that shop (pointing to a nearby shop) to put him on fire, these ‘Operation Skolombo’ people had arrived,” an eyewitness told a CrossRiverWatch correspondent upon arrival at the scene.
The suspected thief is said to have stood up when the combined team of Police and Civil Defense officers arrived at the scene and upon realization that he was not being taken away, collapsed back on the road, prompting the security officers to keep watch over him for over an hour and causing traffic gridlock at that point of the road.
As at press time, it was unclear whether he was still alive when he was eventually taken away.
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