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05.02.2005 Tabloid News

Worshippers abandon service to beat up thief

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Bawku (U/E) Feb. 3, GNA- Worshippers at the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Parish at Bawku, on Sunday exacted instant justice on an 18-year-old man, who was severely beating up for attempting to steal a bicycle on the Church premises during morning mass.

The suspect, Philip Alani, who was caught red-handed taking away the bicycle, which was the second he had stolen within minutes, was hit by various objects leading to heavy bleeding from all parts of his body. The swift intervention of a Police Constable, Albert Abembire, who was among the congregation, saved the suspect from being lynched.

Alani clothing was torn into shreds and was almost naked except his underwear, when he arrived at the local Police Station.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bawku, Constable Abembire said during the service, he went out to urinate and saw the suspect heading towards the parking space meant for bicycles. He said he became suspicious of the suspect's movement due to the rampant theft of bicycles during church services and therefore decided to monitor the suspect.

According to Constable Abembire, when the suspect realized he had mounted surveillance on him, he approached him to enquire about one Abugri Alani.

Constable Abembire said he informed the Parish Secretary to make an announcement to inform Alani about his visitor.

He said he came out later to find the suspect riding a bicycle away in haste and he decided to pursue him.

Constable Abembire said the suspect could not ride faster due to the sandy nature of the area and therefore abandoned the bicycle and took to his heels to seek refuge in an uncompleted building.

However, luck eluded him when most of the worshippers abandoned the church service, to search for the suspect who was hiding between two slabs in the uncompleted structure.

The Parish Catechist, Mr John Ayariga later told the GNA that although he understood the anger of the worshippers, he condemn their action.

He called on Christians to be law-abiding and emulate the forgiving spirit of Christ rather than seek revenge.

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