.cordon off forest robbers escaped into
By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti—Ekiti State Police Command, yesterday, confirmed that two persons were killed in an armed robbery operation at an old generation bank in Igede-Ekiti, Ifelodun/Irepodun Local Government Area late Wednesday.
The operation which was reportedly carried out by a seven-man gang occurred at about 5:50 pm, claimed the lives of a guard and a staff of the bank.
The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said his men have launched a manhunt for the fleeing robbers.
Ikechukwu added that the command had also deployed more of its men in banks to curtail such incidents in the future.
Ikechukwu, however, did not confirm if the robbers made away with any cash from the bank.
According to him, the exchange of gunfire between the policemen and the bandits botched the operation, as the robbers had to flee the scene, knowing that the Police were closing in on them.
He revealed that the guard, who was shot in the head, died within the premises of the bank, while the injured staff died at the hospital.
The PPRO added that the robbers, who had wished to escape through Ilawe-Igede Road, later drove into the bush and escaped into the thick forest between the two towns.
He said the expansive forest has been cordoned off by the police and that his men are combing the bush in search of the robbers.
His words: “The robbers would have done more havoc than they did, but for the prompt action taken by our men. There was an exchange of gunshots between the bandits and our personnel. We tried our best to manage the situation.
“It is true that two persons were killed during the bank operation The operation was regrettable and the death of the two persons painful.
“As we speak, our Criminal Investigation Bureau, CIB, and State Intelligence Investigation Department, SIID, have drafted their men for intelligence gathering while mobile policemen are on the road and other critical areas”.
Ikechukwu urged members of the public to go about their normal businesses, assuring that the police are on top of the situation.
The robbers were said to have attacked the bank in a Gestapo-like manner by blowing up the Automated Tellers Machine, ATM, with bullets, which caused panic within the vicinity of the bank.
An eyewitness revealed that they actually gained entry into the banking hall before they were resisted by the Police, saying no one could ascertain whether money was carted away or not.
He said: “The bank was close to the market and owing to its proximity; people were really affected by the gunshots. They had to scamper for safety
“We know a bank staff and a guard were killed, but we can’t say much about their identities.”