An Anglican Priest, Reverend Chukwunyere Ibezim of Saint Stephen Anglican Church, Uguiri in Isiala Mbano LGA has allegedly run amok, setting ablaze two Automated Teller Machines (ATM) of the Imo Micro Finance Bank at Aba Branch in the Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.
Already, he has been taken by the Imo State Police command for psychiatric evaluation in Enugu.
The priest whose action caused confusion in the area also set his motorcycle ablaze before he was overpowered by security men and bank customers who had come to make transactions.
An eyewitness, Kingsley Chukwu, said that the incident happened on Friday, March 2, 2018, adding that the priest narrowly escaped lynching by an enraged crowd.
Chukwu said the priest had arrived the ATM with a gallon of fuel which nobody suspected he was to use to cause the mayhem.
“Immediately he entered into the premises which also houses the local government headquarters, he just poured fuel on the ATMs and ignited a match, everything happened very fast”.
Further, Chukwu said upon suspicion that he may be lynched, he smartly ran out of the bank and set his own motorcycle on fire in a bid to scare people away and took to his heels, while a hot chase ensued.
“It was the quick intervention of the Police from the Ehime Mbano Divisional Headquarters that saved him from being lunched. The sum of one hundred thousand naira was recovered from him. A new hammer was equally got from him. He came on a brand new motorcycle which he later set ablaze also”, Chukwu explained.
According to him, the destroyed ATMs will negatively affect the locals who used it for quick transactions, adding that it was the only ones serving the entire local government.
Meanwhile, Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Chris Ezike has confirmed the incident adding that the priest appears to be a psychiatric patient.
“The man is a psychiatric patient. A medical check carried out by the medical team of the command revealed that he is a psychiatric patient and we have taken him to a psychiatric home in Enugu State,” Ezike said.