The Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, Mr Vitalis Onugu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the suspects were arrested by members of the Special Anti-Robbery squad at the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) who responded to a distress call.
He said the two suspects were first arrested by the local vigilance group operating in Spibat area in Akwakuma and about to be lynched by the mob when the police arrived at the scene and rescued them.
“Responding to the call, the anti robbery squad got there and found the suspects already tied down with tyres around their necks and were about to be burned alive.
“They were rescued but at the point of death as a result of machete cuts dealt on them by the angry mob. They died before we could get them to the hospital.
“However, one of the suspects, Buchi, from Akpodim in Mbaise, Imo, managed to describe to the policemen the location of their hideout before he died,” he said.
Onugu said the police immediately swung into action and arrested two other suspects in a thick bush behind Orji Mechanic Village in an uncompleted building.
The suspects were alleged to have dispossessed people of their laptops, cell phones, plasma television sets and ATM cards, Onugu said.
He said that items recovered from the suspects included Indian hemp, charms and magical instruments, assorted SIM cards, cell phones and white candles with an inscription “white confusion”.
The police spokesman also said that loaded double barrel shotguns and other dangerous weapons were recovered from the suspects.
He said a full investigation into the incident had begun. (NAN)