In the hopes of evading arrest, a robber dressed up in a tattered and dirty jean shorts and shirt with unkempt hair to give the impression that he was mentally ill.
The Imo State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has arrested one suspected armed robber, Mishael Okeke (31), who feigned to be mentally ill.
Parading the suspect on Tuesday, the state NSCDC commandant, Mr Raji Ibrahim, said Okeke was arrested in a compound in the Ama Awusu area of Owerri metropolis around 12.11am on Monday following a call from one of those living in the compound.
Ibrahim said the suspect, whose body was full of scars, allegedly scaled the fence, adding that he told the NSCDC men that he was hungry and in search of food.
“He (suspect) claimed that he is not an armed robber, but a man who had been hungry for three days. He said the hunger made him to scale the fence into the compound to beg for food from the inhabitants at 12.11am.
“Though no exhibit was recovered from him at the time of the arrest, the fact that he dressed up in a tattered and dirty jean shorts and shirt with unkempt hair gave the impression that he was a man of questionable character,” Ibrahim said
The suspect, who claimed that he hailed from Ihitte Uboma in Imo State and a graduate of a federal polytechnic, however, denied that he was a robber.
He said he did menial jobs and had come to Owerri in search of work.
“For three days, I was in the area searching for a job to do but I did not get it. I had used the little money on me to eat. For the three days, I did not bath and was sleeping in front of any closed shop in the area.
“On the third night, I became desperately hungry. Everybody that I begged for money to eat did not look at me, let alone helping me.
“When hunger wanted to pull out my eyes, I trekked to that compound as I saw parked exotic cars. I knocked on the gate many times, but nobody came out. The next alternative was to scale the fence into the compound to make a noise, so that they could come out,” he said.
He said when the occupants eventually came out, they did not allow him to explain himself but rather walked him out of the compound.
“When I was about leaving the compound, they called me back and called operatives of the NSCDC, who arrested me,” he added.
The suspect, however, confessed that when he was arrested, he pretended to be insane in order to deceive the NSCDC operatives and escape.