A suspected ritualist posing as a mad man has been set ablaze in Delta.
The incident reportedly occurred at Ughelli, in the Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State on Thursday January 6.
The deceased raised suspicion after being seen with an “expensive Android phone” among a crowd of people patronising a trader in front of a public primary school in the area.
Upon being approached by some persons, he allegedly pulled out the SIM card in the phone, swallowed it and fled the scene.
Punch reported that an eyewitness said the crowd was surprised at how a man with a mental problem would have such a phone.
The eyewitness said;
“At first, people thought that he stole the phone from somebody in the crowd, but when he started running and swallowed the SIM card, it became clear that he was not a mad man. He was caught and they began to beat him to get information from him.”
The source added that some some persons who later arrived at the scene, alleged that the suspect was arrested in the past by the police in the Ughelli division for swallowing his SIM card when caught discussing on the phone with an unknown person.
A tricycle operator who was arrested earlier with the suspected ritualist, said;
“When we got to the station, they discovered from bank messages on the phone that the suspect was having over N12m in his bank account.
“I was released a few hours later because mine was a licence issue, so I do not know what happened next. I was surprised to see the same suspected mad man a few days later.”
The state police spokesperson, DSP Bright Edafe confirmed the incident. He said;
“One man was set ablaze in Ughelli community by a mob, but the motive behind the incident is yet to be ascertained.”