29th October, 2010
Armed robbers struck yesterday at an old generation bank in Ekpoma, Esan West LocalÂ GovernmentÂ in Edo State, during which they killed three policemen and two others.
Among the five victims are the auditor of a bank and a vulcaniser. The robbersÂ stormed the bank situated at Isidahomen junction by Royal Market road, the economicÂ nerve centre of the university town.
The armed robbers were said to have stormed the bank at about 9.30 am. They alsoÂ shot the branch manager of the bank and he is said to be in critical condition.
A stray bullet was said to have hit a vulcaniser along the Benin-Auchi road afterÂ the robbers had completed their operation and shot several times into the airÂ apparently to scare people away.
As a result of the incident, other banks in the entire town closed shop for severalÂ hours.
Eye witnesses said the sevenÂ robbers stormed the bank in a commando style, gainedÂ entrance into the bank and carted away an undisclosed sum running into millions ofÂ naira.
They were said to have escaped through Opoji road and drove towards Agbor in DeltaÂ State.
â€œYou know that area is the commercial nerve centreof the town and when the robbersÂ stormed the area, there was pandemonium. The policemen tried to resist them that wasÂ why they were shot. Of course, the robbers came with superior weapons and forÂ several hours after the incident business came to a halt in the whole area,â€Â anÂ eyewitness said.
However, efforts to get police reaction at the headquarters were unsuccessful asÂ the phone of the state police image maker, Peter Ogboi (ASP) was switched off.
However, a senior police officer confirmed the incident. â€œWe were told that thereÂ was a robbery incident in a bank in Ekpoma today and we lost three men in theÂ process,â€ he told P.M.NEWS.
Meanwhile, the police said they are on the trail of the robbers.
For sometime now the state has been enjoying relative peace but the latest incidentÂ has shattered that peace.