A soldier, identified as E.D James, has lost his life while punishing an alleged pickpocket.
It was learnt that James had apprehended the unidentified thief around Barracks Bus Stop between Town Planning Way and Anthony Oke in Lagos State.
It was learnt that after arresting the thief, James subjected him to corporal punishment.
Eyewitnesses said as the alleged thief attempted to escape, James also chased him in a bid to rearrest him.
While chasing the fleeing suspect, an oncoming vehicle on top speed, crushed James to death.
A youth, who preferred to remain anonymous, said, “Anthony Oke end of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway is filled with so many pickpockets. Whenever there is traffic in the morning, they attack commuters going to work and that was what happened on Wednesday.
“One of the thieves attempted to rob a woman around 9am, but a soldier (James), who was coming from Oshodi on a motorcycle, saw the thief and apprehended him.
“He (James) beat up the pickpocket and subjected him to punishment. He told him to frog jump and also roll on the floor.
“A group of soldiers, who saw what was happening, appealed to him (James) to let the thief go or hand him over to the police, but he refused. When the thief saw an opportunity to run, he got up and fled.
“The soldier (James) chased him and attempted to grab him, but the guy crossed to the other side of the road and hopped on the bumper of a commercial bus. As the soldier attempted to cross the road, he did not notice an oncoming vehicle. He was crushed immediately.”
It was learnt that policemen attached to the Ilupeju Police Division, as well as soldiers rushed to the scene to evacuate the corpse of the deceased.
The Public Relations Officer, Nigerian Army 81 Division, Lt. Col. Omale Ochagwuba, confirmed the death of the soldier on the telephone.
He, however, made no mention of the soldier subjecting the pickpocket to any punishment
He said, “The soldier finished from duty and was on his way to the Ikeja Cantonment, around inner Anthony, when he saw a robber snatching a woman’s necklace. The thief crossed the road and the soldier, in an attempt to arrest him, also crossed the road.
“Sadly, a vehicle knocked down the soldier and he hit his head on the pavement and died. He paid the ultimate price with his life.”