A mob has beaten three suspected transformer vandals to death in Umuohiagu community in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area and Egbelu Obube community in Owerri North Local government area of Imo State.
Two of the suspects, Ifeanyi Mgbakabala and Kelechi Eke (aka Agwo) are natives of Umuagwu village in Umuohiagu, while the identity of the third suspect cannot be ascertained at press time.
Witnesses said the suspects, who specialized in vandalizing electricity transformers within the airport communities, were apprehended at Umuekwune kindred in Umuorisha village, while attempting to vandalize the only remaining transformer in Umuohiagu.
The suspects had allegedly vandalized eight transformers in Umuohiagu in the past three months, effectively throwing the community into darkness.
They were said to have also vandalized the dedicated cables being installed for the new radio house for the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri.
The suspected vandals were also four weeks ago linked with the vandalization of a transformer at the permanent base of the Nigeria Air Force at nearby Umuowa community, a development that led to detention of the two Airforce personnel on guard for three weeks.
Vigilant youths were said to have chased the suspects and apprehended two of them while the third member of the gang escaped.
The suspects were dragged to the major roads near the airport, and they were about to be set ablaze when Air force officers arrived at the scene.
The two suspects later died from the brutality meted to them by the mob while the third suspect who ran to the nearby Egbelu Obube was beaten up and set ablaze by irate youths.
Before they were beaten to death, the suspects, had reportedly confessed that they had been using juju to make residents around their target areas to fall into deep sleep, while they vandalized the transformers and cables.
The apprehension of the suspects and their confession, it was gathered, led to the release of the detained Airforce personnel Friday morning.
At press time, the state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Ladodo and the command’s spokesman, Orlando Ikeoku did not answer calls put to their phones. They did not respond to text messages forwarded to their phones.