By DayoÂ JOHNSON, Akure
POLICE in Ondo State areÂ trying to unravel the mystery behind the Thursday bank robberyÂ in which five persons were killed including a nursing mother and the allegation that the riffle used in killing the nursing mother belongs to a policeman in the state.
SaturdayÂ Vanguard gathered that theÂ night before the robbery in which two new generation banks were raided with dynamites a police constableâ€™s gun was snatched by the eight man gang along Coca-Cola, Ondo road in Akure.
It was learnt that the AK47 was used by one of the robbers to kill the nursing mother who came to the bank to withdraw money to pay her Childâ€™s school fees. According to aÂ source, the police constable attached to Fanibi Police station was stripped of his gun on Wednesday and the gun was picked up after the robbery attack on thursday
But the Police Image maker Adeniran Aremu said the snatching of the gun hadÂ nothing to do with the bank robbery and the death of the nursing mother.
Adeniran told Saturday Vanguard that â€œIt is not true that the gun that was snatched from the police was used to raid the bank which led to the daeth of the womanâ€.
He confirmed that no arrest has been made by the Police after an unspecified amount of money wasÂ carted away by the hoodlums from the two banks
Meanwhile, the governor Dr Olusegun Mimiko yesterday visited the scene of the two bank robberies in Akure where he reassured the people of increased government commitment to the safety of their lives and property and sympathized with the families of those who lost their lives and the injured.
According to him â€œI was briefed on arrival from Abuja today by Security Chiefs that the incident happened in the market place, because of this, the security men could not engage in serious shooting else there would have been more causalities.
â€œThe incident is unfortunate; I got briefings and sketches of what happened when I returned to Akure from Abuja. We shall rise to the challenges, we are on top of the situation, whatever we need to do, we shall do it to prevent recurrence.
However sources at the Special Anti Robbery Squad SARS confirmed the recovery of the AK47 rifle used by the robbers in the banks and used to kill the nursing mother at the entrance of one of the robbed banks.
A police source said in AkureÂ that the state police command failed to foil the robbery operation or track down thieves because the state commissioner of Police, Magaji Nasarawa was out of the state, attending the Inspector General of Policeâ€™ (IGP) conference in Abuja and there was no senior police officer to coordinate police response
â€œIt was a bad for the entire command. The CP was in Abuja attending IGPâ€™s conference, leaving the deputy commissioner, DCP Henry Fadairo in charge of the command and in acting capacity.
â€œAgain, the Special Anti_robbery squad (SARS), SP John Mark and his squad were on a special assignment at Ore town were they went to stem the spate of criminal activities
â€œTo every body surprise, when this robbery operation was going on, no senior police officer, not even the DCP who was then the acting commissioner was ready to give order and push other divisions and sections in the command out and trail the fleeing thrives,â€ the source lamented.
He alleged sabotage on the part of some unnamed police officers within the state police command but absolved the state police commissioner
However, men of SARS said they have recovered an AK47 rifle used by the robbers in the banksâ€™ operation which was used to kill the nursing mother at the entrance of one of the robbed banks.
The source said â€œdespite the absent of the team during the robbery operation, the team hurriedly left Ore town for Akure that morning, but was unable to confront the fleeing robbers along Ondo road, as military personnel barricaded the Akure_Ondo raod at the frontage of the 323 Artillery Army barrack.
â€œThe team later went after the fleeing gang though Ilesa_Akure highway before the armed robbers make a detour into Ilara town and escape to neighboring Ilawe town in Ekiti state.