Three suspected armed robbers caught in the act, at the weekend, were lynched by an angry mob in Owerri Ebiri, in the Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State.
According to an eyewitness, residents and traders in the area, particularly on the Owerri-Orlu Road, had been complaining of robbery attacks, leading to loss of their belongings and money, on that ever-busy road.
They have also been calling for the intervention from law enforcement agencies to save them from the problem.
The Imo State Police Command, in a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Michael Abattam, confirmed the incident.
According to him, the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, has condemned the “jungle justice” meted to the suspects.
He said: “On 24/7/2021, about 0630 hours, the inhabitants of Owerri Ibiri caught in the act three armed robbers while robbing some traders yet to be identified. It is believed that they are the ones who have been terrorising the community using unmarked motorcycles to rob innocent people, especially traders along Owerri Orlu Road, Imo State.
“The robbers were beaten, tied and set ablaze before the police patrol team arrived at the scene. Efforts made to arrest the perpetrators proved abortive as they all ran away on sighting the police patrol team.
“The Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, Abutu Yaro, while condemning the barbaric act, advised members of the public and communities alike to always hand over suspects to the police for proper investigation and prosecution instead of taking the laws into their own hands.
“He then set up an investigating team from the State Criminal Investigation Department of the command to investigate the cause and possible ways to prevent future mob actions in the state.