In a shocking incident that has sparked outrage, a 22-year-old boy named Eyo was set ablaze by an angry mob at Esu street off Edim Otop street, Atimbo, Calabar Municipality LGA of Cross River state, according to an eyewitness, Eyo had stolen an android phone the previous evening and disappeared, only to reappear on Sunday morning to meet his tragic end.
Multiple sources have revealed that Eyo, who resided around Second transformer, Inyanghasang, had been involved in petty stealing for a very long time. “I have known Eyo from secondary school. He has always been stealing. There was a time he stole half of the class school fees. Even as we grew into our 20s, Eyo became audacious in stealing and more notorious. He was always caught stealing. This is not the first time a mob tried to mob him. It’s unfortunate that he got unlucky today. They started beating him with cutlasses and gave him deep cuts before setting him ablaze. Funny enough, it’s just for stealing an android phone,” the source said.
The incident has prompted condemnation from various quarters, with the police spokesperson, SP Irene Ugbo, confirming the incident and stating that it was unlawful for anyone to take the law into their own hands. Ugbo added that the rightful thing to do was to report the suspect to the nearest police station and hand him over, instead of killing him in such a gruesome manner.
“The mob action against the suspect was illegal, barbaric, and highly unacceptable. He should have been handed over to the police,” she said.
The incident highlights the need for a more comprehensive approach to addressing crime and criminal behavior in Nigeria. While theft and other forms of criminal activity are undoubtedly serious offenses, the use of mob justice to dispense punishment is not only illegal but also morally wrong. The police and other law enforcement agencies must step up their efforts to apprehend criminals and bring them to justice through legal means, rather than allowing mobs to take matters into their own hands. Additionally, more efforts need to be made to address the root causes of criminal behavior, such as poverty, unemployment, and lack of education, to prevent individuals from resorting to crime in the first place. Ultimately, it is only through a concerted effort to address these underlying issues that we can hope to create a safer and more just society for all.