The police in Eket Division, Akwa Ibom, have rescued a suspected burglar from being lynched by irate youths in the area.
The suspect, an 18-year-old man said to be from Ikot Ekpene, was accused of breaking into shops through the ceiling to steal clothes at No. 18 Uqua road, Eket Local Government Area of the state.
A witness, Solomon Akpan, said the suspect was caught inside a shop after he had prepared to cart away clothes but could not escape through the ceiling which he used to enter the boutique at night.
Akpan said the owner of the shop, one Ms Affiong arrived in the morning and saw the night marauder with the looted wares because he was unable to escape.
On her part, Ms Affiong said she was afraid when she opened her shop and saw somebody sitting on the floor with heaps of clothes carefully folded beside him.
“I was afraid to see an unknown person inside my shop as I opened for business of the day. I raised an alarm and neighbours caught him,” she said.
The landlord of the shop, Mr Tommy Edoho, said after the suspected burglar was severely beaten, he was taken to the Youth President of Ekpene Ukpa village, Mr Ime (alias Presido) for further interrogation.
It was gathered that on the way to meet the youth president, some angry youths intercepted the suspect at Ekpene Ukpa junction, near Later Glory Church, forced him to sit on the tarred road and was further beaten by the mob.
It was learnt that the mob wanted to pour petrol on the suspect and burn him alive, but the youth president intervened and immediately called the Anti-Cultism unit, Eket Police Division, to rescue the suspect from the mob action.
Responding to the incident, the police spokesman, Odiko Macdon said the matter was not reported at the state headquarters but assured that investigation would commence and the culprit charged to court for justice to prevail.
He commended police officers in Eket division for preventing jungle justice from being carried out on the suspect by the angry youths.
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