A suspected phone thief has been burnt to death in Mararaba Gurku area of Nasarawa State.
The incident happened Monday afternoon along the Abuja/Keffi expressway.
An eyewitness, Martins Ago, told PREMIUM TIMES that the suspect was killed after the mob saw him snatch a purse containing a cellphone and cash from a heavily pregnant woman after an altercation that led to the death of the woman.
“The woman came out from EcoBank and the young man confronted and tried to snatch her purse. She began to fight him back after he collected it and he hit her on the stomach. She immediately fell down which drew the attention of the people around,” he said.
Mr. Ago also said as soon as the woman fell down, the attacker tried to run across the road but ”the people ran and caught up with him”.
“She was confirmed dead and this infuriated the people especially okada riders because a hammer and some nails were seen in his (suspect) pockets.
“And you know that Okada riders are killed on almost daily basis by people who pose as passengers and whenever they reached a secluded area, they hit the riders with nails on the head killing them instantly in order to cart away their motorcycles.
“Therefore, before the police arrived the scene, the mob used tires and petrol to burn him alive,” he said.
Although PREMIUM TIMES is yet to get an official police reaction to the lynching, a police officer at Abacha road confirmed the incident to our reporter.
The officer, who declined to be named because he is not permitted to speak to the press, said the remains of the victim had already been deposited at Nyanya General Hospital.
The lynching of suspects by irate mobs is a regular occurrence in parts of the country despite public outcry against such extra-judicial actions.
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