Day robbers turned Ikare-Akoko upside downHeadlines, Ondo, State News Thursday, May 17th, 2012
It was a night of terror at Ikare-Akoko in Ondo State as seven people were killed while scores of others sustained gun wounds when a gang of bandits struck late in the night at three commercial banks in the town
The robbery incident which took place recently during one of the international foot ball match caused pandemonium as the robbers first attacked the police station in the town before they struck at three commercial banks: the First bank ,Skye bank and Eco bank in the town.
The daredevil robbers numbering thirty who were carried out the deadly robbery operations, simultaneously blew off the security doors of the three banks with explosive device believed to be dynamites. They were about gaining entrance into the banks when men of the State Anti-robbery Squad(SARS) engaged them in gun duels.
It was gathered that the police and the robbers engaged in serious gun battle which lasted for over an hour during which the police was said to have called for reinforcement from Owo Area Command.
Investigation revealed that the robbers were shooting indiscriminately at different directions the stray bullets believed to had been fired by the robbers hit some residents in the areas who were running for safety during the sporadic gun shots.
At the end , seven people were feared dead while several people sustained various degree of injuries. The robbers it was learnt destroyed the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) of the police, set one of the banks ablaze and destroyed all the security barriers before the arrival of the police reinforcement from Owo.
It was also gathered that one security guard of one of the banks identified as David was said to have died on the spot while a pastor who was going to a night vigil was among the seven people that were killed in the night robbery attack
When the reinforcement arrived at the scene of the robbery incident the police it was gathered over powered the robbers and the bandits fled the scene of the robbery while police pursued them before they disappeared into the bush. It was gathered the driver of the APC sustained serious injury during their encounter with the robbers and he is currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
In a related development a group of armed robbers had earlier, on the same Monday night laid siege on Akure/Owo highway where they robbed travelers their valuables before they were dislodged by policemen who engaged them in a gun battle. By the time smoke settled, two of the robbers were killed. Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Adeniran Aremu explained that those that were killed were hit by the bullets of the robbers who shot sporadically into the air and that they came out of their homes when they heard the sounds of the guns.
The police spokesman said that more policemen have been deployed to the town while efforts has commenced to track down the fleeing robbers. Meanwhile Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko during his inspection to the scene of the robbery at Akare-Akoko called on the people to be more security conscious and expose any criminal in their midst to the appropriate security agencies for prompt response. The governor also reiterated government readiness to continue to provide adequate security for the lives and property of the residents of the state.
The Governor, who was accompanied by the brigade Commander in the State, Brigadier General Dan Alli and the State Commissioner of Police, Edgar Nanakumo, expressed shock over the level of damage done to the affected banks and the use of sophisticated dynamite to gain access into the banks. He assured that the capacity of security agencies in the State would be increased with a view to preparing them to face future challenges, promising that the major road in the town would be widened and provided with steady light to avert the frequent darkness experienced by the people in the night.
Mimiko, who visited the affected banks, was conducted round the premises by the managers of the banks and he assured them of adequate security. He said: “We feel very unhappy to be here, especially in a situation where the whole town was thrown into a state of helplessness. I want to assure you that we are going to increase the capacity of security agents so as to improve the security of the town. “I like to appeal to our people to be more security conscious at all times. We have to be proactive, especially when it comes to security issue like this. We commiserate with the families of those who lost their lives as information reaching us says five people lost their lives. We as government on our part will continue to do our best and we’ll never spare anything to make sure that our people live in peace.
The Olukare of Ikare-Akoko, Oba Akadiri Momoh, in his remarks thanked the Governor for always responding to the plights of the people of the State, especially for being mindful of his people in times of difficulties.
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