Resident of the ancient city of Ikare Akoko, Ondo State will never forget Tuesday, January 13, 2015 in a hurry. This will be particularly be so for families of victims of the robbery incident on at least three banks in the town, which included four mobile policemen attached to the banks, three policemen on duty at Igbede Divisional Police Station who were shot by the armed bandits, the customers killed at the banking halls and at the ATM points of the banks as well as the little schoolgirl of ten whose life was cut short by the robbers. Commercial activities, however, remain grounded at the town, reports TEMITOPE ADEDEJI…
First Bank Plc has always been under attack in the town. WESTERN POST authoritatively gathered that the last robbery incident at the bank happened in 2013. It was so tragic that the operation reduced the structure of the bank to a level that the bank’s management could not even renovate the property any more because of the damage done to it. The bank had to begin a fresh construction on a new plot of land not too far from the damaged one.
It was around 3 pm that the bandits started the dastardly act. They entered the town in two army vans wearing army uniforms, leaving many to believe that they were real soldiers going to Ado-Ekiti where President Goodluck Jonathan was having his presidential campaign for his re election bid which was held on the same time. There is no way one would believe that the ‘soldiers’ had a negative plan since the army are well respected.
An eye witness, Emmanuel Ojelabi, said the robbery lasted three hours without any hindrance whatsoever. Even the Armed Personnel Carrier (APC) stationed to control such occurrence was badly damaged and demobilized beyond repairs by the robbers. When WESTERN POST visited the scene, the APC was being brought out from inside the gutter in front of Skye Bank. It was gathered that two persons who came to bail one of their family members at the police station were shot dead at the counter of the Oke Igbede Police Station. The station is just a few kilometers away to the banks, where three policemen were killed at the station and 17 others at the scene of the event. The three affected banks were First Bank, Wema Bank and Skye Bank. Surprisingly, the military men at the two checking points along Ikare Road were not on duty at their base because of President Jonathan’s visit to Ekiti.
Commercial Activities Grounded
Commercial activities in the town were grounded as at the time of filling this report because of the bank robbery. The killing of the former NURTW Chairman, Mr. Ileola Gold, at the bank by the robbers also compounded the situation.
The traditional rulers of the town, the Olukare of Ikare, Oba Saliu Momoh, and Owa-Ale, Oba Samuel Adedoyin, registered their displeasure with the devilish act of the men of the underworld.
The number of casualties had risen to 21 by the weekend while others critically injured in the robbery are still at the state specialist hospitals in Ikare and Akure, the state capital, responding to treatment.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Ondo State Police Command, Wole Ogodo, who visited the robbery scene with the police boss, Mr. Eke, promised to bring the perpetrators of the robbery to book.