Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti
Barely a month after armed robbers bombed Ido Ekiti Divisional Police Station in Ekiti State and looted the armoury, four persons, including a groom-to-be security guard, were killed during a bank robbery incident that rocked Otun-Ekiti in Moba Local Government Area on Thursday night.
It was reliably gathered that among those killed during the robbery operation involving over 35 gun-wielding bandits were the Manager and cashier of the bank, security man at another bank and the night guard to the Ore of Moba Land, Oba Adebayo Popova.
Bandits numbering over 40 had on October 14, 2016 invaded the police station in Ido Ekiti, which is less than 25 minutes’ drive to Otun Ekiti and killed a policeman on guard.
Explaining how the incident happened, Oba Popoola said: “it happened around past 6pm on Thursday evening. I was relaxing with my chiefs in front of the palace when we heard what first sounded like some fireworks and we dismissed it as some of the children’s antics as a result of the festive period. But later we heard heavier and more
shocking sounds that resembled gunshots and explosives. That was when we realised it was no child’s play.
“Gunshots and explosives were all over the place and heard from all corners. I couldn’t situate the incident as we ruminated whether it was robbery, Boko Haram’s attack or some kind of war happening. We later learnt that the robbers mounted their men at four entrances into the town, first was the roundabout at Erimope Road, second was outside Moba LGA secretariat , third was in front of my palace and the fourth was in front of the Technical college outside the town on the way leading to Kwara.
“The sporadic gunshots and explosives lasted for about an hour before the dust settled. And by that time four innocent people lay dead. The Manager and cashier of the bank, security man at another bank and my night guard who had just resumed for night duty and wanted to close the gate.
“I reported the case to the governor and he immediately called me and mobilised the security operatives who promptly came around past 7pm but the robbers had long left.”
The monarch who said that the incident was the first ever in the town, explained that Otun was prone to such attacks because it is a border town with Kogi, Osun, and Kwara.
“The border towns and local government areas should be given very tight security so that such incident would not happen again. Government should put in more effort into seeing to the protection of lives and property. “, he said.
Further checks revealed that the Unity Bank security guard had also just resumed for work that evening and his soon to be wedded wife is heavily pregnant and their weeding had been fixed for within a week of the tragedy.
A resident of the town who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity, said: “The Oba’s guard killed was shot in his private part. He was about closing the Oba’s gate when one of the robbers rushed towards him and rained bullets on him and dispatched into an early grave.
“The man who is to get married in two weeks’ time, he and the Oba’s guard hailed from Mayan outskirts of Otun. Even police men ran for dear lives. We saw a sergeant with the police who ran far more than others who scampered for safety during the attack. The one killed in Unity bank has just two weeks to his wedding. His wife is
heavily pregnant. We also learnt that the slain Bank manager resumed just 20 minutes before the robbers attacked”, he said.
Confirming the incident, Ekiti State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Alberto Adeyemi, said that the police had deposited the bodies of the deceased four at Usi morgue at the Usi-Ekiti General Hospital, adding that: “We have commenced investigations into the development and hope that the perpetrators would soon be apprehended.”