30th July, 2010
A 23-year old man, Ubong Akpandem, who went to siphon fuel from a parked car has been set ablaze by a mob.
The fuel thief, a source told P.M.NEWS, had on the midnight of Sunday gone to the parking lot of 6, Ewa Ansa Street, off Calabar Road, in Calabar, Cross River State, South South Nigeria, and opened the tank cover of a BMW car and inserted a pipe with which he was siphoning fuel into a 20-litre can.
After inserting the pipe into the car tank and drainning fuel into the can, he opened the car and sat inside to avoid suspicion by people who saw him.
Our source said the passersby confronted the man and demanded to know if the car belonged to him, but he could not give a satisfactory answer and attempted to bolt away. They chased him and beat him to a pulp, drenched him with the fuel and set him ablaze. All the while, the car owner, Inyang Daniel was asleep.
When the man heard the commotion outside and came out and was told what happened, he tried to put out the fire on the young man and immediately took him to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital but he died there .
When the matter was reported at the police station, the Divisional Police Officer, DPO Atakpa, Mr. U.S.A. Brown, who is from Ikot Ekpene, same area with the thief, arrested the car owner and the landlord, Barrister Essien Okon and they were both detained in the police station for two days, our source disclosed.
When P.M.NEWS went to Atakpa Police Division, Brown said the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, for the Cross River Police Command was the only competent person to speak on the issue.
Contacted, the PPRO, Mr Essien Dickson, said the matter was still under investigation.