By Adekunle Ogbonnaiye, Ado-Ekiti
No fewer than four people have been killed in a bank robbery operation at Otun-Ekiti in Moba local government area of Ekiti State on Thursday night ROYAL NEWS has gathered.
Those killed in the robbery operation include the Manager and cashier of Heritage bank, the bank security guard at the Unity bank whose wedding is a few days from now and the night guard to the Palace of Oore of Moba land, Oba Adedapo Popoola.
The monarch who gave an account of the incident said: “It happened around past 6pm Thursday evening. 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 realized 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 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 sporadic gunshots and explosives lasted for about an hour before the dust settled. And by that time four innocent lives were dead. The Manager and cashier of Heritage Bank, security man at Unity Bank and my night guard who had just resumed for night duty and wanted to close the gate.”
Oba Oladipo added that, “I reported the case to the governor and he immediately called me and mobilized the security operatives who promptly followed the governor’s instruction and came around past 7pm but the robbers had long left.”
The traditional ruler however stressed that the incident was the first ever in the town, explained that Otun is prone to such attacks because it is a border town with Kogi, Osun, and Kwara.
“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”, he said.
Further details on the robbery incident said the Unity Bank security guard had just resumed for work that evening. His soon to be wedded wife is heavily pregnant and their weeding day had been fixed for about a week.
“The Oba’s guard killed was shot in his private part. He was about closing the Oba’s gate when one of the robbers rushed towards him and rained bullets on him and dispatched into an early grave. The man who is to get married in two weeks time, he and the Oba’s guard hailed from Mayan outskirts of Otun.
“Even policemen ran for dear life. We saw a sergeant with the police who ran far more than every other who scampered for safety during the attack. The one killed in Unity bank has just two weeks to his wedding. His wife is heavily pregnant. We also learnt that the slain Bank manager resumed just 20 minutes when the robbers attacked”, he said.
Confirming the attack, Ekiti State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Alberto Adeyemi , said that the police had deposited the bodies of the deceased four at Usi-Ekiti morgue at the Usi-Ekiti General Hospital. Adeyemi noted, “We have commenced investigations into the development and hope that the perpetrators would soon be apprehended.”
The Governor of the State, Mr. Ayo Fayose, at a gathering in Ado-Ekiti said security would be reinforced in the area. The Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kola Oluwawole, condemned the robbery of two banks in Outn-Ekiti, pleading with authorities to make more policemen available in the state.
According to a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Stephen Gbadamosi, on Friday, Oluwawole, who commiserated with the families of the victims of the robbery and the Oore of Moba, Oba Adedapo Popoola James, prayed that God would console the people of Otun-Ekiti and the entire Moba kingdom.
Oluwawole, appealed to the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force to consider making more men of the force available to the state, stating that the current government would not take security of lives and property of its people with levity. “The incident is sad. We do not take the security of the lives and property of our people with levity. But this is regrettable and condemnable. I commiserate with the families of those that lost their lives in this ugly incident.