Crime

Benue bank robbery: Police count losses, say we lost DPO, two others but killed two robbers

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Benue bank robbery: Police count losses, say we lost DPO, two others but killed two robbers

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Police in Benue State on Saturday count their losses, confirming that the Otukpo Divisional Police Officer, CSP John Adikwu and three other policemen were killed during the armed robbery raid on commercial banks in Otukpo area of the state.

On Friday, daredevil armed robbers raided some banks in Otukpo, causing panic in the area.

State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Catherine Anene, also confirmed that five banks were robbed simultaneously.

Anene, in a statement, added that in a hot pursuit of the criminals afterwards, security operatives gunned down two of the armed robbers while still on the trail of others who abandoned their vehicle and ran into the bush along Otukpo – Taraku axis.

The police statement read, “On 20/10/2023 at about 1615hrs, armed robbers invaded Access, First, Zenith, UBA and Stanbic bank Otukpo simultaneously.

“The Otukpo Divisional Police Officer, CSP John Adikwu and other Police teams in the area engaged them in a gun dwell but were unable to prevent their attack on the banks.

“More police teams in collaboration with other security agents have been deployed to Otukpo to assist in stabilising the area and prevent these robbers from escaping.

“The robbers who were intercepted along Otukpo-Taraku road, engaged officers in a gun duel and two of the robbers died in the process. Other gang members abandoned their vehicles and escaped into the forest area and are being chased by the police.

“The DPO, who sustained a gunshot injury on his stomach and three other police officers, have been confirmed dead at the hospital. Other persons who sustained injuries in the bank have been moved to the hospital for treatment.”

The police spokesperson noted that investigation into the matter had commenced but kept silent on the number of civilians killed during the robbery incident

Meanwhile, one of the military personnel who engaged the armed robbers on their escape route, said that security operatives couldn’t do much in engaging the daredevils while the illicit operation went on because of the crowd of innocent people at the scene.

“We waited for them on their escape route and engaged them, they had to abandon their vehicle towards Taraku town. We pursued them into the bush and fell two of them. We apprehended one alive,” he said.

Meanwhile, Governor Hyacinth Alia, has condemned the armed robbery attacks on some commercial banks in Otukpo town.

Alia, in a statement by his spokesman, Tersoo Kula, described the robbery incident as an affront to the state, especially that it took place at the exact time the Security Council meeting was in progress at Government House in Makurdi.

The governor sympathised with the families of those who were gruesomely murdered by the robbers.

He said, “It is an unfortunate development that people who were on duty, especially police officers, were shot and killed in cold blood by those mindless robbers.
“But they cannot get away with this. Already, security agencies are on their trail and must apprehend and bring them to justice”.

Alia therefore called on the people of the state to be vigilant and always endeavour to report suspicious movements around them all the time.