A suspected armed robber, Chukwudi Omaka, who along with his gang members allegedly robbed and killed a businessman, was buried alive by angry youths
The businessman, Idam Ogbonnia, was killed at Amaisri community in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Police paraded three of those who reportedly killed Ogbonnia.
A witness, who is a resident of the community, Emmanuel Udu, said Omaka was also among the robbers who robbed a cold room known as Etuelughu, belonging to Oko Udu Monday and another businessman identified simply as David, selling provisions.
He said: “The handsome boy (Omaka) was beaten thoroughly. Despite that, he refused to name his members. He was later buried alive by Amasiri youths.”
It was learnt that after burying Omaka,the youths then planted a tree on the grave in accordance with the customs of the community against anyone who committed a crime.
The tradition has been as old as the community.
Those paraded included Gideon Omaka, Chukwudi Omaka’s brother and Idam Nwabueze Amadi.
Parading the suspects before journalists at the state Police Command Headquarters, Abakaliki, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Dr. Jude Madu, said the suspects lay an ambush for the team of Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and shot about three policemen.
He said the incident occurred last Friday and that some suspects, including Gideon Omaka, were arrested.
Madu said the state commissioner of police had declared war on criminals by deploying policemen to fish out criminals in the community.
Gideon (29), told journalists he was a former convict but did not know anything about the robbery for which his brother was killed. He said: “I was in my house when people attacked me and killed my brother, Chukwudi. I ran away.
They said my brother was one of those who robbed Idam Ogbonnia in my village.
My brother was the one who was buried alive when I ran away. The people later arrested me. “I just returned from prison that was why the people said I knew about the robbery that took place in my community for which my brother was accused, attacked and buried alive.
I was released from prison March this year.”