Two suspected “money doublers” recently (Thursday September 10) narrowly escaped death at the hands of an angry mob, when they were caught in the act, trying to swindle a girl along the Royce Road Owerri.
One of them who spoke to The Leader at the Catholic Archiocesan Secretariat Owerri, where he had fled to, while still burning from the flames of petrol fire inflicted on him, gave his name as, Onyemaechi Ibe, a native of Egbelu-Obibiezena in the Ngor-Okpala LGA.
Onyemaechi who groaned in tears as he riggled in pains from the burns all over him as well as some cuts on his head and other places, disclosed that his partner in crime and himself met their victim when she boarded a Keke (tricycle) in which they were already sitting.
He said that they convinced her to surrender her cell phone to them, as a pledge that she will return, while they waited there for her to go home and bring all the money she could find to be doubled for her.
To their greatest shock, the girl returned soon in the company of some boys. On sighting the boys, their driver fled and the young men pounced on Onyemaechi and his partner in crime, pouring on them fuel to set them ablaze.
When asked how he managed to get to the Cathedral premises, Onyemaechi said that the girl told the boys not to kill him because he was not the one who asked her to go and bring the money.
Questioned further regarding the whereabouts of his partner, he replied that he must have been burnt to death by them. Before The Leader arrived the Cathedral premises, His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna, the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, had ordered that Onyemaechi be taken to the Holy Rosary Hospital Emekuku for medical attention.
The Leader later learnt that the timely intervention of the police saved the other fraudster who gave his name to newsmen as, Okwudiri also a native of Obibiezena from being lynched by the angry crowd.
According to the Weekend Gazette Newspaper, Okwudiri confessed thus: “I am bad. I did evil. It is 419. I regret my actions. Please help me”.
Okwudiri called on others who make crime their stock in trade to repent. An on-looker (who pleaded anonymity) said that the fraudster was one of those swindlers who trick their unsuspecting victims and rob them of their money and valuables. He revealed that their operational axis include Ama JK, Royce Road and Ama-Awusa axis of Owerri.