A traditional title holder in Ekiti State, simply identified as Chief Ilesanmi Olorigbo from Aita quarters of Ilupeju-Ekiti, Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, was forced to commence a hard labour of digging a deep well inside the community market as punishment for allegedly stealing a phone.
Chief Olorigbo was said to have been earlier stripped naked and paraded round the town for hours for allegedly stealing a small cell phone at his Aita quarters in the community.
Our correspondent gathered that the bubble burst on Sunday, November 13, when some youths in the community were hinted that a cell phone that went missing on Saturday, November 12, was found with Chief Olorigbo.
The matter was reportedly made known to the town's monarch HRM Oba Olaleye Oniyelu, the Apeju of Ilupeju-Ekiti, who promptly sent the 'Emese' (palace guards) to fetch Olorigbo.
“On getting to the palace, the Olorigbo was promptly searched and the missing cell phone was found inside his pocket. Apparently, he was caught unawares as he did not know what the Kabiyesi had wanted from him," a resident of the town, who witnessed the incident but pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent.
Following the development, the community was said to have immediately invoked some draconian laws of the community, which include among others, the stripping of a thief, compelling him to dance round the town in the full glare of the townspeople and also engaging him in hard labour inside the king's market for a full month.
Olorigbo was reportedly stripped naked and made to dance round the community while angry and excited townspeople jeered him. He also began his third punishment on the dawn of yesterday, Monday, November 14.
Capturing the details of his third punishment, Mr. Luku, a resident of the town said, "From very early on Sunday, the Olorigbo, also called Chief Ilesanmi, began to dig a deep well inside the Oba's market at the centre of Ilupeju.
He would first clear the bushes around the spot and thereafter begin to dig the well. The well must bring crystal clean water or else, his punishment won't be complete. This will serve as deterrent to other would-be thieves in the community, “he said.
He added that the matter was not reported to the police as the community had already taken internal measures to deal with the strange development.
In his reaction, the Apeju of Ilupeju Ekiti, Oba Olaleye Oniyelu, who confirmed the story, however, denied that Chief Olorigbo was stripped naked and compelled to dance round the town over alleged theft of phone.
The monarch, in a telephone chat, said he was in the hospital when Olorigbo was brought to the palace but confirmed that the matter was reported to the police station by his wife.
He said, "When the matter was brought to the palace, I was in the hospital and the matter was taken to the police station and I don't know what really happened. I don't know whether he was paraded round the town but I will find out.
Meanwhile the Police spokesman, Alberto Adeyemi said Olorigbo was arrested and the matter will be charged to court.