Man who invaded military barracks to steal arrested

A daring serial thief who had been invading the homes of army personnel within the barracks at 2 Division of the Nigerian Army in Ibadan, Oyo State, for the past nine months was nabbed on Friday, July 8 by the military police personnel, during another attempt to burgle a house.

Commander of the Military Police, Colonel Abdulahi Haruna Ibrahim, disclosed the arrest of the suspect to Crime Reports same day, few hours after the arrest.

According to the commander, the suspect had been on the military police’s wanted list for the past nine months, as he was said to have been disturbing the Odogbo Barracks by passing through illegal routes to invade homes.

Explaining how John was able to access the military zone, Colonel Ibrahim said: “We have water pipe drainage by the fence of the barracks which he used to take advantage of to break into houses, carting away television, car stereo and laptops. He specialised in breaking into the houses officers on courses or those whose families are in the barracks while their husbands are away on duty.

“Unfortunately for him, luck ran out on him when we apprehended him about 4a.m. on Friday, July 8, as he was entering the barracks through a gutter. The suspect had given us a lot of concern before his arrest.

“We got to know that he once lived in the barracks with a relation who is a soldier; and having got to know the existing routes into the barracks, he has been terrorising and stealing items from people. He has no fixed address and initially claimed to be from Delta State before confessing that he is from Bayelsa State.”

Crime Reports also learnt that the suspect was arrested by the police in 2015 over a similar offence and was charged to court.

Responding to Crime Reports’ question, Michael John (58) said: “I live around hemp joint at Oke Dada at Beere area, Ibadan. I was breeding fishes in Warri, Delta State but I resorted to stealing in 2015 when flood swept my fish pond away. The people I borrowed N400,000 from, on which I was paying N25,000 interest, started pestering me to repay the loan. My wife left and I had no choice than to come back to Ibadan.”

On how he knew the route he could pass through without being detected, John said he became familiar with the route he chose when he lived in the barracks with a brother of his in 1999. When asked why he decided to choose the path of crime, the suspect simply replied: “Too bad.” He said his wife is currently in Benin, Edo State with his children.

The man confessed to smoking Indian hemp, saying he started about three years ago. He also disclosed that his buyer, one Bashakam, whom he met at hemp joint, also resides at Beere area.

The military police commander said that the suspect would be transferred to the police authorities in Oyo State for further investigation.