Army Patrol Team arrest robbers in Army camouflage in Delta
Armed robbers numbering about 25 late Thursday struck two banks in Otun-Ekiti, Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State, killing four individuals including a bridegroom-to-be who was billed to marry his heavily pregnant wife in a week’s time.
Similarly, men of the Dragon Patrol Team 19, yesterday swooped on a four-man armed robbery gang at Ekpan in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State, after operating in military uniform.
However, it was gathered that the three others felled by the robbers in Otun-Ekiti were the manager and cashier of a bank (name witheld), Mr. Modupe Segun-George and Nbaadom Tomidilok respectively, a security guard at another bank and night guard to the town’s monarch.
Commenting on the attack, Oba Adedapo Popoola, Oore Otun of Moba land, who spoke with journalists, said the bandits besieged the community around 6pm on the said day.
He said: “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 the four outlets into the town, first was the roundabout at Orimope 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 State. “The shooting lasted about an hour.
And by that time four innocent lives were laying dead. The manager and cashier of the bank, security man at the bank and the 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 came around past 7pm but the robbers had left long before then.”
The monarch noted it was the first time such untoward incident would occur in the town, adding that Otun Ekiti was prone to such attacks because it was a border town with Kogi, Osun and Kwara.
He said: “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.”
The state police spokesperson, Alberto Adeyemi, who confirmed the incident, said the police had deposited the bodies of the deceased at the mortuary of Usi-Ekiti General Hospital.
He said: “We have commenced investigations into the development and hope that the perpetrators would soon be apprehended.” A source at one of the banks said the manager had closed and left the premises before one of the staff pleaded with him to return and review his response to a query.
The source said: “The bank manage had left the premises but one of our staff who was given a query pleaded with him to return so that he could use his experience to help him review the response before sending it to the headquarters .
“The deadline was Thursday and there was no way the recepient of the query could have waited for the next day. Less than 20 minutes after the manager return, the robbers just invaded the bank and they were shouting ‘where is the bank manager?’ where is the key to your vault?’.
Before we new it, they started shooting and that was how they killed the manager and our cashier”. Meanwhile, it was gathered that the robbers in Army uniform had snatched a tricycle from one Mercy Itedjere and Akinbehinje Folorunsho of Bunkery Road Ekpan, of their tricycle at about 1pm yesterday at Bunkery road Ekpan, before nemesis caught up with them.
The Dragon team while on duty along Ughelli/Patani express road, at Evnreni, intercepted the stolen Tricycle with two different registration numbers, Delta PIN 504 UP at the rear and YEN 403 QU at the front, and sensed a foul play.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Celestina Kalu, in Asaba yesterday said the stolen tricycle was being driven by one Obinna Emele, a 31 year old boy of Enizuegene of Bayelsa State. She added: “Consequently, upon search of the BMW car the following items were recovered from the hoodlums, two Nigerian Army Camouflage Uniforms, one Nimasa uniform, one walkie Talkie, six different handsets, one stamp pad and ink pad, one cash/ credit receipt booklet bearing – Izu Kings oil and gas Port- Harcourt, and forged vehicle particulars.”
According to Kalu, the suspects were swiftly apprehended, “and undergoing investigation”, before facts emerged that they were members of the notorious armed robbery gang operating in green vehicle in Warri and environs.” The PPRO narrated how one Pubby Nwigbo of back of Zappa in Asaba, Delta state capital was arrested, following a distress call that one Okpoluo Mathias was under armed robbery attack at DLA Asaba.
“The Anti Crime Patrol Team from ‘A’ Divisiosn, Asaba mobilized to the scene and arrested the armed robber, one Pubby Nwigbo ‘m’ of back of Zappa Asaba. The suspect attacked the victim and his wife in their shop at the above address.”
She listed items recovered from the suspect to include a locally made cut to size gun and two cartridges, adding that: “Investigation into the matter is in progress.”