A suspected thief, Yunus Suleiman, was knocked down by a motorist as he fled on the Murtala Mohammed Road, Ilorin, Kwara State on Tuesday.
He shocked eyewitnesses when he was apprehended and confessed to have stolen the motorcycle at Challenge area of Ilorin. He added that he wanted to sell it off and use the proceeds to fund his wedding.
But, as he was knocked down on the overhead bridge along Murtala Mohammed Road, one of his legs was broken.
The Kwara State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ajayi Okasanmi, said the suspect hailed from Kishi in Kaiama local government area of the state.
Suleiman barely escaped being lynched by a mob attracted by the cry of the owner of the motorcycle, who had been pursuing him.
He was caught as he lay in a pool of blood.
Some of the spectators suggested that he should be lynched while some others said he should be handed over to the police. The crowd watched him as he writhed in pain.
The suspect expressed regret for his action and said he was under pressure to find money to finance his wedding coming up in a few days’ time.
“If I had known that I would be passing through this problem, I would not have stolen this motorcycle. I was only looking for money to fund my wedding, which comes up in few days’ time. Please spare my life. Do not burn me. I regret my action,” he said.
Okasanmi told our correspondent that Suleiman was later rescued by the police and taken to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital for treatment.
“We have commenced investigation into the matter,”Okasanmi said.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr. Henry Bilesanmi, said the corps had arrested seven petrol black marketeers.
He said two of the suspects were arrested on Tuesday while the rest were arrested during the Yuletide.
While warning people against careless use and display of petrol, he confirmed that a teenager was burnt to death at Zango area of Ilorin after his motorcycle had a head-on collision with a private Toyota car.
Punch correspondent learnt a passenger on the motorcycle was carrying a jerry can filled with petrol. The second occupants barely escaped death.
People in the neighbourhood reportedly tried in vain to save the dead victim by pouring water, on him to quench the fire as he burnt to death.
An eyewitness said the fire was ignited by a spark from the motorcycle’s exhaust pipe. The charred remains of the victim was later evacuated to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital mortuary.