Two policemen, 4 others feared dead in Edo bank robbery

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Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase
Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase

No fewer than six persons, including two policemen and a private security man were reportedly killed on Tuesday evening when daredevil armed robbers invaded Igarra, headquarters of Akoko-Edo local government area of Edo state.

It was gathered that the robbers stormed the town in two Sienna buses around 6:00pm in commando style, as some of them went straight and take over the police station where they killed two policemen and the others went straight to the bank where they allegedly destroyed the entry to one of the banks with explosives.

The robbery incident has thrown the entire Igarra community into a mournful mood.

A private security man attached to the bank and a commercial motorcycle rider were said to have been shot dead at the gate of the bank, while two persons suspected to be customers apparently using the ATM were allegedly shot dead in the premises of the bank.

Vigilante groups in the community however quickly mobilised and barricaded the exit route of the town, along Ekpedo-Ekpe road, close to the border with Kogi state, where one of the armed robbers was reportedly killed and another arrested and one of their vehicles impounded.

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Leader of the vigilnate group in the area who spoke on phone to journalists in Benin on condition of anonymity, confirmed the killing of one of the robbers and the arrest of another.

“When they started the operation in Igarra, we quickly mobilised our people around the surrounding villages because they came through Lampese to Ososo and down to Igarra and they were also going back through the axis passing through Enwan and our men barricaded their route and there was exchange of gunfire. One of them was killed; another was arrested while many escaped with gunshot wounds. They also impounded one of the vehicles they used,” he said.

He however complained of the porous security situation in the community, adding that, “all the entry points to Igarra from all flanks are open, we need more security in this place, we have been abandoned to our fate.”

Efforts to get police reaction to the incident was not successful as the police in Igarra referred journalists to the Command headquarters in Benin City.

The lines of the new Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Stanley Osifo could not be reached while the receiver in a call to the Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, referred reporters to the office of the PPRO.