Mob burns man alive for stealing soup
A mob in southern Nigeria repeatedly stabbed and clubbed a man accused of stealing a pot of soup before burning him alive and leaving his charred remains outside of a school.
The unidentified victim’s corpse was left outside a secondary school after his death on Sunday in the southeastern port city of Calabar, the 'ThisDay' newspaper reports.
The national paper said the man was part of a three-man gang who were spotted by a woman after they took a pot of soup from her stove and fled.
Read More: Boko Haram attack on Nigerian village leaves 151 dead
The woman shouted for help and the three were chased by neighbours as they tried to escape.
The mob caught up with the man holding the soup and attacked him with machetes and clubs before setting him on fire.
“This is not the first time they have come to our compound to steal. Last week, they removed the car battery of one of our neighbours,” a resident of the area was quoted as saying.
Local police condemned the killing, saying “every suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty”.
Read More: Cameroon expels thousands of Nigerians in Boko Haram fight
Vigilante activity is a controversial subject in Nigeria, which created crime-fighting militias across the south in the early 2000s to work alongside Nigeria’s overstretched federal police.
Civilian gangs have since served as political enforcers around the country, triggering warnings from rights groups of the dangers of mob rule.
A state-backed vigilante group known as the Bakassi Boys executed 36 suspected robbers in Anambra State, southern Nigeria, in 2001.
The growth of Islamist group Boko Haram, in the north of the country, has seen the Nigerian military further encourage militias.