BY VINCENT UJUMADU
AWKA—TWO persons were shot dead and two mobile policemen seriously wounded yesterday as dare devil armed robbers attacked a customer in front of one of the first generation banks along New Market road in the heart of the commercial city of Onitsha.
The robbery attack caused pandemonium in the area, and this made it possible for the robbers to get away with a huge, undisclosed sum of money.
An eyewitness told Vanguard that the five-man armed robbery gang operating on a motorcycle, had trailed to the bank a sales girl with a huge sum of money on a commercial motorcycle, popularly known as Okada.
As the Okada dropped her in front of the bank, the robbers struck, killing both the girl and Okada rider instantly.
The two mobile policemen attached to the bank who tried to prevent the robbers from entering the bank premises and, perhaps, save the deceased were attacked by the robbers who opened fire on them, injuring them seriously.
The eyewitness, who is a customer in the bank, said the armed robbers, on noticing that the girl would enter the bank, which meant the end of their trail, shot her and the Okada rider.
The witness said: “The armed robbers had double-crossed the commercial motorcyclist who was conveying the girl to the bank, but the girl, on noticing that they were coming for the money tried to safeguard the bag.
“Unfortunately, the money fell down and when the girl tried to pick the bag, one of the robbers on a motorcycle opened fire on her, killing her instantly, while the Okada man was hit by a stray bullet that also killed him.”
He said it was during the gun duel that the two policemen who came to protect the bank from the robbers, were also shot and they sustained serious injuries.
The incident put fears into most of the banks in the area and they hurriedly closed their gates, while customers who were around scampered for safety.
A detachment of policemen from Onitsha Central Police Station, led by the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Mr. Abdul Yusuf, immediately mobilized to the scene to restore normalcy, while soldiers who were contacted also cordoned off the area.