The 35-year-old, whose name was given as Kaduna Enatimi, hailed from Akassa community in the Brass LGA.
Enatimi was reportedly arrested by members of the vigilance group about 2am on Thursday while consuming some of the stolen wraps of fufu and the soup.
The suspected thief was said to have confessed that hunger and economic hardship led him to steal the pot of soup and the other food items.
The Head of the Igbogene Vigilance Committee, Chief MoneySweet Asomo, said the suspect was caught “red handed doing justice to the soup and food items stolen from a cafeteria owned by an Akwa Ibom State woman in the area.”
Asomo noted that the accused also claimed that he planned to give some of the food to his family members.
Asomo said, “We were on patrol at about 2am on Thursday. When we got to the Timida School area, we saw a man at a local food joint eating.
“The food kiosk is owned by an Akwa Ibom indigene popularly called Madam Blessing.
“We questioned Enatimi and he confessed to have stolen the pot of soup, some wraps of fufu and half basin of garri.”
It was, however, learnt that the Paramount Ruler of the area, the Obenibe X1 of Epie Kingdom, King Hope Adike, intervened and asked them to parade him (the suspect) round the community with the stolen items as a deterrent to others.
It was also learnt that after parading the suspect round the village, he was released and asked to sin no more.
The paramount ruler, it was learnt, was said to have let him go after considering his defence that hunger and hardship made him to steal the items.
Enatimi was also made to eat from the stolen items in the presence of the indigenes of Igbogene and made to go away with the items after the shop owner (Blessing) forgave him.
The shop owner was said to have stated that she had no money for police case and that it was better for her to let him go than involve the police in the matter.