By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command, Mr. Asuquo Amba, has alleged that going by the revelations of the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) in the bank robbed in Oye Ekiti on Thursday, there was connivance between the bank officials and the robbers.
The robbers had attacked a first generation bank in Oye Ekiti and killed a police sergeant attached to the bank and a seven-year-old girl during a gun duel.
The gangsters had initially attacked the town’s Divisional Police Station, burnt a police van and used it to block the Ilupeju-Oye highway.
Amba, who said the sum of N25 million and huge sum of foreign currency were discovered to have been stolen by the robbers, added that
it was baffling that the bank officials could allegedly open the strong room seven minutes before the robbery.
The police commissioner, who visited the bank on Friday, further alleged that the CCTV also revealed how the bankers and a customer, who ran inside upon hearing the gunshots, had used the robbery as an opportunity to stuff money into their pockets as they moved frequently into the vault before the bandits struck the security door with improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
He said between the time the bandits attacked the Police Divisional Office, which was about the 300 metres away from the bank and the time they struck, there was enough time for the bankers to have escaped after closing the vault, but refused to do so for 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-clothes 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 complicit.
“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 in 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 the loot from the strong room,” Amba added.
He said the two top managerial staff already detained by the police are helping in the course of investigation.
It was also gathered that the woman whose child was killed by robbers during the operation had been taken out of Oye Ekiti to her country home.
It was also revealed that the deceased girl was the only child of the bereaved woman.