The maxim: “Ninety-nine days for a rogue and one day for the master,” demonstrated itself yesterday when the attention of friends and relatives decorating graves in the Kpeh-Kpeh Town, Lower Johnsonville Community was drawn to a suspected criminal.
Suspect Stephen Siaway, 27, was apprehended with several pieces of steel rods and a piece of corrugated iron by community residents, some of whom had just returned from decorating their relatives’ graves.
Suspect Siaway did not know that not all the community residents were out commemorating the holiday when he sneaked into a neighbor’s yard and allegedly stole several pieces of steel rods and a piece of iron bar.
Shortly after his arrest, suspect Siaway admitted committing the act, but said in a Daily Observer interview that, his action was due to “severe hardship” he endured to cater to his fiancée and their three children.
“I stole these items from near my brother’s house, because he had gone to decorate our ma and pa graves somewhere on Duport Road. This is why I went into the house and took those items away.” His confession was interrupted by intermittent slaps from vigilante members.
Most grave decorators who were part of the vigilante team were shouting, “These are people who often take advantage of people’s sorrow to commit crimes by stealing from the community.”
Siaway begged the residents to report him to the police, rather than carrying out their own justice as they punched him in the face as well as beat him on every part of his body.
Meanwhile, grief-stricken residents trooped out yesterday in the Johnsonville Community, some of them for the first time, to identity with or at least take a glimpse of a mass burial site of several of those killed last year by the Ebola virus and whose bodies were dumped in a swamp near the Kpainwein River.
Up to yesterday, only a tomb had been constructed by some unknown person on the mass grave site to memorialize those who died from the Ebola outbreak and were dumped in unmarked and unidentified graves.