The Chairpersons of Ika North East and Ika South Local Government Areas in Delta State, Hon. Barrister Victor Ebonka and Evang. Sunny Tataobuzuogwu, has expressed strong condemnation for the lynching of three individuals suspected of motorcycle theft within a single week. Reports indicate that angered residents of Agbor and Boji-Boji Owa have resorted to extrajudicial killings of alleged motorcycle thieves. Several residents voiced their frustrations, stating that their confidence in the police to handle such cases has waned. They argued that those apprehended for motorcycle theft often evade justice, leading to a sentiment that burning these thieves alive serves as a form of retribution and deterrence. Some residents emphasized that victims of motorcycle theft often suffer severe injuries or even death at the hands of thieves.
An earlier incident saw a suspected motorcycle thief burned alive on Imudia Street before Arimokwu Street in Agbor on Saturday, July 22, 2023, following an unsuccessful attempt to steal a motorcycle. Another individual, Onuwa Lucky Alabi, a native of Idumu-ebor, Owa-Alero, was captured and set on fire on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, along the New Benin/Asaba Expressway in Agbor. Onuwa’s arrest was facilitated by the motorcycle’s owner, who confronted him and elicited a confession that the stolen motorcycle was in possession of his accomplice, Odinga. Onuwa, notorious for his criminal activities, suffered a severe beating from an enraged mob before being set ablaze.
The third case of vigilante justice occurred near Owa-Alero General Hospital, Ika North East Local Government, at approximately 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, 2023, when an unidentified suspected motorcycle thief met the same fate. Both council chairpersons decried the acts as barbaric and contrary to the laws of the country. They emphasized that the Ika community has no history of resorting to fatal punishments for criminal acts. The chairpersons urged residents to refrain from engaging in mob attacks. Expressing sadness over the recurring motorcycle thefts, the chairpersons highlighted the enduring suffering victims endure, particularly in the current climate of increased motorcycle prices. They called upon the youth to resist taking matters into their own hands and warned that those partaking in such acts of vigilante justice will face legal consequences. Furthermore, the chairpersons encouraged youths involved in criminal activities to reconsider their choices and instead embrace government-sponsored skill acquisition programs to engage in productive endeavors.