Three suspects on Sunday, attempted to steal the recently completed water pump at the Primary Health Care Centre, Gbatse, in Ushongo Local Government Area of Benue State. One was caught and set ablaze by an angry mob while his accomplices managed to escape. According to Mr. Adanyi Gbatse, a youth leader, the suspects gained entrance into the fenced area where the pump had been installed by cutting through the barbed wire.
At midnight, vigilant neighbours heard a noise within the premises of the motorized borehole and on getting closer, they saw that the men were in the process of removing the water pump from its position and raised alarm which attracted the attention of more neighbors.
The youth leader said one of the suspects was apprehended when he tried to start the motorcycle they had brought to use to facilitate their escape but it failed to start.
The eyewitness said during interrogation the suspect who could only speak Hausa refused to give information about who he was and where he came from, rather he became violent and started a fight which resulted in him being lynched and burnt.
District Head of Mbayegh, Chief Nathaniel Hoyo, who confirmed the incident stated that the rural Divisional Police Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Emmanuel Igwe, informed him about the development. He stated that if he had received the information earlier he could have intervened to prevent the administering of jungle justice.
He however, commended the residents on their vigilance, urging others to emulate them by guarding facilities and infrastructure in their communities.
ASP Igwe stated that the Chairman of the Civilian Joint Task Force in the area, Mr. Terhemen Kpelayongo reported the matter to the police, adding that the suspect was lynched before the police arrived at the scene.
He said the recovered items which included a motorcycle, a hammer, two spanners and an iron road have been sent to the Divisional Headquarters in Lessel for onward forwarding to the Zonal Office at Gboko for further investigation.