An eyewitness who saw him pull out a phone stealthily from a student’s pocket at the Faculty of Pharmacy class raised the alarm that attracted other students. The accused kept a straight face to the barrage of threats from furious students, who threatened to lynch him.
According to the eyewitness, “I saw him take the phone from his pocket and he then switched it off, I followed him to basement where he went to hide the phone but because I was alone and it was in the night, I didn’t want to be overpowered by a thief, hence I couldn’t challenge him at basement. But I was surprised to see him come back to the class. I am sure he came back to see if he can steal the boy’s laptop.”
During interrogation, the suspect gave his name as John, but the book, which he was reading had a different name ‘Chukwudi’ written on it. He also claimed that his UNIBEN ID card was in the hostel and that he lived in Ekosodin, a community close to school reputed for its notoriety.
On further interrogation, the suspect shot himself in the leg by claiming to be a student of the Department of Mathematics. When he realized that students of the department would expose him, he quickly claimed that he was studying Accounting. His deception became more pronounced when he claimed to be studying ‘Engineering Mathematics,’ a programme that never existed in UNIBEN.
Most public universities in the country have become dens of thieves. This latest incident was among the several cases of theft recorded on campus in recent times, with students losing their mobile phones, clothing, laptops, shoes, among other valuables.
On how to curb this menace, Benedicta Agweh, a 400 level student from UNIBEN, urged parents to provide enough for their children to avoid difficulties in feeding which may push them into stealing. Also students living in the hostels should always have their boxes under lock and key whenever they are not around.
She said: “Squatting should be discouraged in our hostels, you find out that rooms with the highest number of squatters lose more of their items to thieves than others where only the legal occupants reside.”
Other students also called on the various security units on campus, as well as the police to re-strategize on how to achieve effective surveillance of the school environment so that the nation’s ivory towers would not become a den of thieves.
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