By Suzan Edeh, Bauchi
It was another day of terror in Misau Local Government Area of Bauchi State, when gunmen attacked a first generation bank and a police station, in what was described as a double operational invasion. The attack which was not the first of its kind in the area, left six police men and one civilian dead, while several others sustained injuries. And while it lasted, it created pandemonium in the entire area.
Vanguard Metro, VM, investigations revealed that the gunmen on entering the premises of the first generation bank threw bombs, which exploded and killed a civilian and policeman on duty. The explosion enabled them to gain entry into the bank and they thereafter carted away a large sum of money.
It could be recalled that this is the second time in less than two months that Misau, which is located about 160 kilometres north of Bauchi, has been attacked by gunmen.
Also, the Misau incident would be the sixth time that police stations and banks in the state have been attacked, a development that prompted the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Hafiz Ringim, to order the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, Abuja to carry out full and thorough investigation into the series of attacks.
Bomb explosion at police station
According to an official of Misau Local Government Council, who did not want his name in print: “The gunmen attacked the Afribank(branch) and the police station at about 3.00pm. On their arrival, they started shooting sporadically into the air to frighten people.
When they got to the police station, they threw bombs which exploded and instantly killed five policemen on duty. We in the area started hearing gunshots and all of a sudden, there was this bomb explosion at the police station. The gunmen later set the station ablaze and freed all the detainees.
Everybody was confused and running helter-skelter as the robbers started another round of shooting. The gunmen later entered the bank and stole huge sums of money”.
Speaking later, the Bauchi State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, disclosed that the Monday, twin attack on the police station and the first generation bank in Misau was made possible by insider collaboration. He also revealed that N19.2 million was carted away during the attack.
Addressing a press conference the following day in Bauchi, the Police Commissioner said: “From the on-the-spot assessment of the crime the police management team conducted, the issue of an insider information from the bank cannot be overruled because the hoodlums constructively broke into the door leading to the emergency exit of the bank.
And while the Bank Manager escaped, two(members) of staff of the bank with the keys to the strong room, were on the floor and handed the keys to the strong room to the robbers, with little or no threat”.
He confirmed that five policemen and a civilian were shot during the robbery incident, while one civilian sustained gunshot injury and is presently recuperating at the hospital.
Mr. Aduba lamented that the robbers had a field day, saying that while the attack lasted, nobody supplied any valuable information to the Police.
While calling on members of the public to provide useful information that will assist the police carry out its duties, the Police Commissioner said: “Intelligence report at our disposal indicates that the hoodlums parked their vehicles at a distance and trekked to the police station.
Within this period, nobody deemed it fit to alert the police or the police station and at the end of the day, a cash sum of N19.2 million was successfully carted away, as alleged by the(bank) management”.
He noted that security was everybody’s business, saying that its takes concerted efforts of members of the public and the Police to police any community, because according to him: “The Police Force has no magic wand to track down criminals. We are not magicians; we only work with information at our disposal. That is why, we are always pleading with members of the public to feed us with useful information”.