A number of vigilantes came at the police station carrying the goat and saying that the thief, who allegedly tried to steal a Mazda 323 car, used some form of ritual to turn himself into a goat, so as to avoid detection by the police. Authorities announced that the animal is currently in custody, but that they need scientific proof that the beast is actually a hoodlum, who used black magic.
"The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. They pursued them. However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat," Tunde Mohammed, who is a spokesman for the Kwara state police, told Reuters in a telephone interview. "We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody. We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat."
The vigilantes who tracked down the goat say that they were on their regular patrol in the city when they saw two individuals trying to rob a car. They started following them, but one got away and the other was reported to have turned into the animal that they helpfully brought to the police. Naturally, the officers didn't know how to react, but, when confronted with an angry mob demanding the arrest of a goat, there's not much to do other than actually arrest the animal and hope for the best.
In the meantime, while people are assessing if the animal is guilty or not, many have come from across Africa's most populous country to see it, and brought their cameras along for the ride. There are numerous believers in magic in Nigeria, and some are thoroughly convinced that the animal is in fact a human who possesses supernatural powers.
One newspaper even features the black-and-white goat on its national front cover, alongside some straws. The case has sparked massive interest in the country, and people are really into the case, so to speak. They see this as a confrontation between science and tradition, and many are camped outside the jail where the goat is being kept, expecting news of the situation every moment.