By Izunna Okafor, Awka
A suspected transformer vandal met his waterloo in Anambra State on Wednesday, as village youths captured and burnt him alive during a vandalization operation in the State.
The incident which happened at Ifite village in Ezinifite, Nnewi South Local Government Area.
It was gathered that the transformer vandals (seven in number) went for the operation in two buses and had come all the way from Onitsha through the help of an informant in the area.
According to an eyewitness who pleaded anonymity, the suspects actually started the vandalization in the late hours of Tuesday (at about 11.pm) when the villagers must have gone to the bed early because of the heavy rain that badgered that night. The vandalization was said to have lasted to about 2.am because of the enormity of their vandalism.
The eyewitness said it was about that time that a villager secretly raised an alarm about the presence of the vandals in the community, which made the youths to organize themselves with the local vigilante operatives in the area, and went for the vandals.
He said: “The suspects, on sensing the presence of the villagers and the security, rushed into their cars and zoomed off. The first bus carrying the four of them had escaped, as the people couldn’t catch them. Then, as the second bus was about escaping with the remaining three gang members, the people pursued them, while one of the local vigilante punctured the tire of the vehicles with gunshot.”
Going further, the eyewitness said as the suspects jumped down to escape into the nearby bushes, the security operatives crippled one of them with bullets, while other two escaped into bushes.
According to him, shortly after that, the villagers captured another member of the gang as he was hiding around in the bush. He added that the two gang members captured and their bus were taken to the office of the security.
He said: “Then, later in the morning, one other fleeing member of the gang was also captured and taken to the office, making them three captured. He was captured when he sneaked out of the bush and started asking people about the way to go back to Onitsha. But because the people had already been aware of what happened in the night and also heard the gunshots, the people he asked immediately raised an alarm, and the youths came out and chased after him. Then, he escaped back into the bush.”
He narrated that the suspect did same thing for three different times at three different locations in the community, to the extent that he started fighting one of the people who identified him, before he was eventually captured by the villagers.
While noting that an informant from the area who gave the people information about the transformers they came to vandalize was also arrested; the eyewitness said the suspects were given the beating of their lives by the villagers, while the one who was shut earlier on the leg was burnt alive by the angry mob.
This was corroborated by a video currently trending on the social media, which shows the suspect as he consumed in the pull of fire.
The video also shows photos of the transformers already vandalized by the suspects and the stolen items recovered from them.
The reactions of the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, could not be gotten, as he was yet to reply to messages sent to him, as at the time of this publication.