By Yolamchi Ukaga, Umuahia
The adage that says that “Every-day is for the thief, one day is for the owner”, was exactly what played out in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia state, Wednesday, as an angry mob dispensed jungle justice on two suspected armed robbers.
The incident occurred at Umuocham area of Aba, thereby causing heavy gridlock on Aba-Owerri road, the major entrance into the commercial city. For several hours, movement along Osisioma, down to MCC Junction and Umuocham, was blocked by a large crowd that gathered to witness the sorry sight.
Orient Weekend gathered that the suspects trailed their victim from a nearby old-generation bank where they snatched an undisclosed amount that she withdrew from the bank.
However, luck ran out on the suspected robbers, as some commercial tricycle operators witnessed the incident and went after the robbers, intercepting them at Umuocham, opposite Star Paper Mills on Aba Owerri road where an angry mob pounced on them.
An eyewitness who spoke to our correspondent alleged that the suspects were recognised to be the same group of robbers that killed a tricycle driver a week ago at Immaculate Avenue and made away with his tricycle.
The eyewitness, who gave his name as Solomon, however said that the heroic tricycle men that chased the robbers from the bank coupled with the holdup at Aba-Owerri Road contributed immensely to the capture of the suspected robbers.
According to him, “This is the spirit of Aba that disappeared for years. These boys were recognised by the people working around here.
“This is not the first time they’re doing this. These were the same armed robbers that killed a Keke rider some weeks ago at Immaculate Avenue. That big one there confessed when people were beating him close to death.
“What happened today was that someone went to UBA withdraw money and these criminals burning here, trailed him and snatched the money from him and took off in this their burning motorcycle.
“Keke riders by the grace of God started chasing them, as the man was shouting for help. On getting to Star Paper Mills Junction here in Umuocham, they were trapped in traffic and one of the Keke drivers took one way from a wrong lane on the road and blocked them and raised alarm, which attracted other Keke drivers, who hit the robbers from behind, before people pounced on them.
“People gathered and beat them for close to 30 minutes, but nothing was working until they discovered that they had charms on them. Their charms were pulled out and one was beaten to death, while the other refused to die.
“He later pleaded with the crowd to pull out the ring in his finger which was his charm. It was pulled out before he died. He even refused to burn as you can see with your eyes”.
Another eyewitness said the suspected robbers relied more on their charms and called on the security agents to take the situation in Aba seriously, before people would take laws into their hands.
His words: “To those in advanced world, this is jungle justice, but to people in Aba, it’s a perfect justice. On daily basis armed robbers rob people and go free. Today, people had opportunity of pouring out their anger on these ones and you can see the result here.
“I plead with security agencies in the city to increase surveillance, especially this festive period, because people will try to make quick money to the detriment of others. I don’t like this but it seems to be the only option for people here, who watch both robbers and Aro Cult Boys make life terrible for them on daily basis. This was what we were seeing in Aba before the year 2000 when Bakassi Boys started theirs”, he stated.
All efforts made to reach Mr. Geoffrey Ogbonna, police public relations officer (PPRO), Abia state police command, to react to the story failed.