Ekiti bank robbery: Police allege internal connivance with bank officials
…Ekiti Govt. Commiserates With Residents
The Ekiti State Police Command, yesterday, shed light on how armed robbers allegedly stole N25 million and a huge sum of foreign currency during a robbery incident at a new generation bank at Oye Ekiti last Thursday.
During the operation, the daredevil bandits killed a police sergeant and a seven-year-old girl during a gun duel.
The robbers also attacked the Police Divisional Police station in Oye Ekiti and burnt a police van used to block Ilupeju-Oye highway after they robbed for over 30 minutes.
The Ekiti State Government yesterday commiserated with residents of Oye Ekiti over the robbery incident.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, who paid a condolence visit to the community described the bank robbery and loss of lives as sad and unfortunate.
Egbeyemi, who visited the bank and the nearby police station, which was also attacked by the robbers, stressed the need for residents to be more security conscious.
He said government would continue to work round the clock in collaboration with security agencies to ensure safety of lives and investment in the state.
The Deputy Governor assured that the government would put security agencies across the state on their toes to be more alert in securing the lives and property of the people of the state.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Asuquo Amba, who equally visited the bank on a fact-finding mission, yesterday, alleged that there was internal connivance between the bank officials and the robbers going by the startling revelations of the Close Circuit Television (CCTV).
He said it was baffling that the bank officials opened the strong room seven minutes before the robbery occurred.
Amba alleged further that the CCTV also revealed how the bankers and a customer, who ran inside upon hearing the gunshots, had used the robbery opportunity to stuff money into their pockets, saying they moved frequently into the vault before the bandits blew up the security door with Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs).
The Commissioner said between the time the bandits attacked the Police Divisional Station, which was about 300 metres away from the bank, and the time they struck, the bankers could have escaped after closing the vault but refused because of the sinister intention they allegedly harboured.
“The summary of it is that there was internal connivance and it is unfortunate. There was a similarity between this robbery and the one we had at Ise Ekiti recently. It baffles me that there was suspected insiders’ connivance in the whole issue. Plus or minus, there was a missing link and it is that link that we are working upon, trying to investigate.
“The banking policy does not allow us to post mobile policemen to the bank for a reason known to them and this started in 2016 based on the letter written by the bank requesting for only plain clothed policemen. Between the time the robbers attacked our men and the time the robbery took place, the staff had enough time to escape through the exit door.
“They were captured by CCTV moving in and out of the vault. The vault was even opened before the robbers came. Despite the opportunity, none of them made efforts to escape. They were stuffing money and there was evidence to prove this.
“The staff opened the vault by 3.05pm and the robbers blew up the security door at 3.12pm. This gave a strong suspicion that there was internal collaboration in this matter; it showed complicity. All these are the dynamics we are studying and that will form the basis for our thorough investigation,” he said.
Amba added that the police recovered a carton inside the bank containing over N2 million that was hidden by one of the bankers before the operation.
“The carton was hidden under the table within the banking hall. This should be part of the loots from the strong room,” Amba added.
He said that two top managerial staff already detained by the police were helping the course of investigation.
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