Blood spilling and killing have become the order of the day in Kumba where insecurity is also on the rise. Hardly can a day pass by without news of some one haven been beaten severely, robbed or murdered by unknown assailants. The population, faced with such, has quickly resorted to mob justice as any person suspected of theft these days is battered before he or she is set ablaze.
This was the fate suffered on 27 May 2009, by two suspected hoodlums, one of whose only name we got as "Fraicheur."
Fraicheur and his other unlucky partner in crime were set ablaze last Thursday 27 May 2009 morning at Three Corners, Fiango, Kumba for allegedly breaking into a provision store belonging to a certain, Peter Cham Ntang and successfully making away with several cartons of whisky, cigarettes, "magi", butter , batteries etc.
Unfortunately for the bandits somebody who was also up as early as 3 am saw them in action and recognised one person out of the gang of six, Peter Cham told Eden that morning. Quickly, the unnamed informant tiptoed to Cham's house to alert him of the on going burglary in his store.
According to eyewitnesses who accompanied the store owner to the venue, some of the stolen items were too bulky for the bike they were using to transport their booty to a safe hideout.
The hoodlums decided to leave behind seven cartons of sachet whisky, "maggi" cartons and butter containers as well as batteries. The items were thus, parked ready for evacuation, inside the Ntam (Three Corners Park)
Peter Cham and his neigbours first recovered these items when they arrived at the park under the guidance of the informant. The recognised hoodlum is reported to be having a friend whom he visited regularly, at Three Corners, hence, the mob went for him so that he could lead them to the suspected thief's house, in the New Layout neighborhood.
Cham, who displayed the stolen items in front of his store, confirmed that the crowd moved quietly to the area, surrounded and broke into the house where they met the six gangsters sharing the night's booty.
Embarrassed, one of them is said to have picked up an unloaded gun with which he tried in vain to scare the crowd. When the crowd realised that there was no shot coming from the weapon, some energetic young men closed in on them and grabbed one.
The others fled while the bandit with the gun tried to escape through the window but was overpowered by another group behind. They were both marched to Three Corners including the stolen cartons and later set ablaze at about 6 am.
Police and Gendarmes called in since 4 am by the quarter head only arrived at the scene at 7am, an hour after.
By Larry Esong in Kumba,