By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A member of staff of a new generation bank and the bank’s guard were killed in a robbery in Igede in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government on Wednesday’s evening.
The seven-man armed gang had besieged the bank at about 5.50pm where they killed the guard and the staff in an operation that lasted for about 15 minutes.
Speaking with journalists in Ado Ekiti Thursday, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti Police Command, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, confirmed the incident and said more men had been deployed in banks to curtail the men of the underworld across the state.
Ikechukwu said there was exchange of gunfire between his men and the bandits, which foiled the operation as the robbers had to flee the scene knowing full well that the police were closing in on them.
He revealed that the guard, who was shot in the head, died within the premises of the bank, while the injured staff died in the hospital.
The PPRO added that the robbers, who had wished to escape through Ilawe-Igede road, later drove into the bush and escaped into the thick forest between the two towns.
He said the expansive forest has been rounded up by the police and that his men are combing the bush in search of the robbers.
“The robbers would have done more havoc than they did, but for the prompt action taken by our men. There was exchange of gunshots between the bandits and our personnel. They tried their best to manage the situation.
“It is true that two persons were killed during the bank operation. The operation was regrettable and the death of the two persons was painful.
“The command is stepping up its intelligence gathering skill and operation. As a temporary measure, we are going to deploy more men in banks to make the place safe for staff and customers.
“If you are on ground in Igede now, more men have been deployed, particularly the mobile police unit. We are doing same across the state.
“As we speak, our Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) and State Intelligence Investigation Department (SIID) have drafted their men for intelligence gathering while mobile policemen are on road and other critical areas.”
Ikechukwu urged members of the public to go about their normal businesses, assuring them that the police are on top of the situation.
The robbers were said to have attacked the bank in a Gestapo-like manner by blowing up the Automated Tellers Machine (ATM) with bullets , which caused panic within the vicinity of the bank.
An eyewitness revealed that the robbers actually gained entry into the banking hall before being resisted by the police, saying no one could ascertain whether money was carted away or not.
“We know a bank staff and a guard were killed, but we can’t say much about their identities,” he added.