EKITI, Nigeria – A sum of N25 million and an undisclosed amount of foreign currency was discovered to have been stolen by robbers at Oye Ekiti on Thursday during a robbery incident at a new generation bank in the town.
In a gun duel during the robbery, the daredevil bandits killed a police sergeant and a five years old girl.
The robbers also attacked the Police Divisional Police station in Oye Ekiti and burnt a police van used to block Ilupeju-Oye highway after they robbed for over 30 minutes.
The commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Asuquo Amba, who visited the bank on assessment tour on Friday alleged that there was internal connivance between the bank officials and the robbers going by the startling revelations of the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV).
He said it was baffling that the bank officials would open the strong room seven minutes before the robbery.
Amba alleged further that the CCTV also revealed how the bankers and a customer, who ran inside upon hearing the gunshots, had used the robbery opportunity to stuff money into their pockets as they moved frequently into the vault before the bandits struck the security door with over seven improvised explosive device.
The police commissioner said between the time bandits attacked the police divisional office, which was about 300 metres away from the bank and the time of the robbery, was enough for the bankers to have escaped after closing the vault but refused for the sinister intention they allegedly harboured.
“The summary of it is that, there was internal connivance and it is unfortunate. There was a similarity between this robbery and the one we had at Ise Ekiti recently.
“It baffles me that there was suspected insiders’ connivance in the whole issue. Plus or minus, there was a missing link and it is that link that we are working upon, trying to investigate.
“The banking policy does not allow us to post mobile policemen to the bank for a reason known to them and this started in 2016 based on the letter written by the bank requesting for only plain-clothed policemen.
“Between the time the robbers attacked our men and the time the robbery took place, the staff had enough time to escape through the exit door . They were captured by CCTV moving in and out of the vault. The vault was even opened before the robbers came.
“Despite the opportunity, none of them made efforts to escape, they were stuffing money and there was evidence to prove this.
“The staff opened the vault by 3.05pm and the robbers blew up the security door at 3.12pm, this gave a strong suspicion that there was internal collaboration in this matter, it showed complicit.
“All these are the dynamics we are studying and that will form the basis for our thorough investigation”, he said.
Amba added that the police recovered a carton inside the bank containing over N2 million that was hidden by one of the bankers before the operation.
“The carton was hidden under the table within the banking hall. This should be part of the loot from the strong room”, Amba added.
He said the two top managerial staff already detained by the police are helping the course of investigation.
It was also gathered that the woman whose child was killed by the robbers during the operation, had been taken out of Oye Ekiti to her country home.
It was also revealed that the deceased’s girl was the only child of the bereaved woman.