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12 killed in Edo failed bank robbery

By Michael Egbejule, Benin City and John Akubo, Lokoja
10 August 2018   |   4:11 am
Twelve persons, including a policeman, were killed by armed robbers who attacked a police station and invaded two banks in Igarra, headquarters of Akoko-Edo local government area of Edo State...

Twelve persons, including a policeman, were killed by armed robbers who attacked a police station and invaded two banks in Igarra, headquarters of Akoko-Edo local government area of Edo State yesterday evening in an unsuccessful robbery attempt on two new generation banks.

Two persons who were detained at the police station in Akoko-Edo for minor offences were also killed by the robbers. They were reportedly arrested yesterday morning for minor offences; one of them for incomplete vehicle particulars.

Witnesses said the robbers first attacked the police station, which is about 1.2 kilometre from the banks to demobilise the policemen on duty. The robbers were said to have burnt the official vehicle of the newly posted Area Commander and killed a policeman in the process.

Three other persons near the police station were reportedly hit by stray bullets. Four persons were killed within the premises of the two banks as witnesses claimed the robbers could not get access to the vault of the banks.

A youth, identified as Ofei Obende, said policemen posted to the bank tried to resist the robbers but were overpowered by their heavy firepower.

Secretary to the paramount ruler of the community, Otaru of Igarra, Elder Folorunsho Dania, confirmed the incident saying: “This is a serious case, armed robbers have besieged Igarra. So many lives killed, 10 dead persons have been counted.

“Close to the police station, three persons were killed and in the banks too, many persons were killed and the banks raided. It is a calamity. They could not access the strongroom of the banks. The people that were killed in the bank were outside the bank premises.”

As at the time of filing this report, the Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor said information about the attack was still sketchy and he would release more details later.

Some youths in the community who didn’t want their names in print said they tried to accost the robbers but were overpowered by their firepower. The youths explained that the police in the banks had a hectic time exchanging gunfire, which he said was responsible for the death of some of the unidentifiable bodies.

Meanwhile, the Kogi State University, Ayingba was gripped by fear Wednesday when the news of the gruesome murder of one Ali Shariff, a 300-level student in the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, filtered in. He was reportedly killed by one Yusuf popularly known as Santa Cruise, a 100-level student of the department of Public Administration.

According to an eyewitness account, the deceased while marking his birthday was stabbed to death when he attempted to separate a quarrel between Yusuf, his killer and another student.
The incident, it was gathered, happened at about 4:00p.m. in front of the school gate behind MTN office, close to the deceased’s lodge.

The late Shariff, who was described as easy-going and gentle, had similar misunderstanding with Yusuf, earlier as his roommate, but the issue was amicably resolved by their landlord.

Shariff, who also operates the Umbrella multimedia studio, was allegedly stabbed with a broken bottle in the neck and bled to death before help could reach him. He was confirmed dead by medical personnel at the Good Shepherd Hospital, Ayingba.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Joseph Edegbo, refused to pick several calls made to him on his mobile phone, neither did he respond to text messages sent to him.

The Police PRO, Willy Aya, when contacted claimed not to be aware of the incident, but promised to reach the reporter as soon as he was briefed. He later called to say the story was true and that the suspect is currently at large.

He, however, said the police are on his trail, adding that he will be apprehended very soon and be made to face the full wrath of the law.