On Tuesday, the three suspected robbers, who attempted to rob an old generation bank in the Mpape area of Abuja were paraded by the police.
An employee of the bank, Larry Ehizo, 30, was alleged to have led three others, Timothy Joe, 21; Princewill Obinna, 24; and Elijah David, 19, to the bank in an attempt to steal a massive sum of money from it.
The fourth suspect, identified simply as Patrick, was gunned down by security agents during the failed heist, while a manhunt has been launched for the fifth member of the gang, identified merely as Ernest.
Ehizo, who allegedly masterminded the robbery, was said to have also driven his gang members to the bank premises in his Peugeot 206 car and provided directions on how to access the vault.
The bank employee also allegedly gave them black fez caps to cover their faces before he disabled the close circuit television cameras on the premises.
Parading the suspects, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Ciroma, said efforts were being made to arrest other members of the gang, who are on the run.
He said, “Four locally-made pistols, one Peugeot 206 car with number plate SBG 752 FP, two cutlasses, two daggers, one axe, a pair of pliers, one Infinix Note phone and one saw blade were recovered from the suspects.
“Efforts are being intensified to arrest other members of the gang, who are currently at large.”
Narrating how the failed heist was executed, David alleged that Ehizo informed the gang members that the robbery would rake in N7m and assured them that only a few staff members would be at work on the day of the incident.
David further explained that the banker administered an oath of secrecy on him before they went for the operation.
On entering the bank premises, the 19-year-old explained that they saw the policeman on duty sleeping, adding that they tied him with an old sponge and proceeded to the banking hall, where they also tied up other workers on duty.
He said, “Mr Larry (Ehizo) told us that the job could fetch about N7m. After we entered the bank, we saw a riot policeman on duty but sleeping, so Obinna pointed a pistol at him, and we tied him with an old sponge. Mr Larry told us that he would keep the other door open for us.
“So, Larry and Obinna later went upstairs with a pair of pliers to disconnect the CCTV. On our way out, Larry suddenly shouted, ‘Ah, the MOPOL has escaped’; then, I ran inside, and all of us scattered. I didn’t know what to do. Then the police began firing teargas into the premises.”
David further said Ehizo attempted to implicate his colleagues after they were arrested.
“I decided to untie the other bank workers because the teargas could kill them. I apologised to them. When we came out, we saw a lot of policemen and soldiers; they pointed guns at us and asked who arranged the robbery, then Mr Larry pointed at an innocent man, but I said it was Larry,” he stated.
Explaining his roles, Obinna said Ernest informed him about “a bank job” on December 24, 2019, which would be executed in collaboration with Ehizo, adding that the banker assured him and his friends that he would facilitate access to steal money from the bank.
He said, “Mr Larry told us there that there was a deal he wanted us to execute and that it would not take more than 10 to 15 minutes.
“He said the bank would not operate on Saturdays and that if we could come around, he would help us to get the money out.
“We discussed how to walk in there when the security personnel would be unavailable and other things. So, on Friday, we organised ourselves, and on Saturday, we carried out the operation.”
Obinna, a photographer, added that Patrick provided the guns used for the robbery the night before the operation.
“Patrick said he would stay by the gate, because he is taller than all of us and he has power to fight,” Obinna stated.
But Ehizo said he was blackmailed by Ernest to carry out the heist, adding that he (Ernest) threatened to deal with him and his family.
Ehizo stated, “Ernest is a customer of the bank, and that is where we got to know each other because I work in the customer service unit of the bank. There is a place I used to drink; that’s where he works as a barman.
“He told me to tell the gang members how to get inside, show them where the CCTV was and that I should show them where the police officer on duty would be. When we drove into the bank, he even called me, because he was across the bank. He said I should do as agreed and out of fear, I said yes.”
Man Video-calling His Girlfriend gets Crushed by a Car
On Wednesday, a 26-year-old man, Olajide Asade, was crushed to death by a commercial car, while he was making a video call to his girlfriend at the Adedero village on the Abeokuta-Siun-Sagamu Expressway.
The accident involved a Honda Odyssey car with number plate AAA 589 FV, which was conveying crates of eggs.
It was gathered that the deceased was reportedly making a video call to his girlfriend while crossing the road when the accident occurred.
An eyewitness told our correspondent that the deceased and his brother boarded a car from the Kuto motor park in Abeokuta, but the vehicle developed a mechanical fault on the road.
The eyewitness said while the other passengers were standing by the roadside waiting for the driver to repair the vehicle, the deceased reportedly concentrated on the video call.
The deceased’s brother, Azeez, said they were both travelling to their mother’s residence in the Ajah area of Lagos State.
Azeez confirmed that his brother had been making a video call to his girlfriend since they took off from Kuto in Abeokuta.
He added that they left their apartment at Ijoga in Abeokuta very early in the morning to embark on the journey.
Azeez maintained that the driver of the car, who hit Olajide, was on a normal speed.
The driver, whose car hit the deceased, Bolaji Balogun, said Olajide was the one who bumped into his vehicle.
Balogun, an employee of an agro firm, said he was going to the Obasanjo Farm to purchase crates of eggs for his company.
The driver stated that the deceased had already got to the front of his car before he could apply the brake.
Confirming the crash, the Public Relations Officer of the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Babatunde Akinbiyi, said there were two male occupants in the vehicle that killed Olajide.
He stated, “There is a road diversion along the Abeokuta-Siun-Sagamu interchange due to the ongoing reconstruction; the deceased probably assumed it would be better and safer for him to cross to the other side, where road reconstruction is ongoing.
“The man, while crossing back to the other side of the road, was making a video call and was oblivious to the fact that a vehicle was coming from the Sagamu end to Abeokuta.
“The vehicle, a Honda Odyssey, hit him and he died on the spot.
“His corpse has been deposited in the morgue of the General Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta, while the driver of the Honda Odyssey and the vehicle are now at the state Motor Traffic Division, Ibara, Abeokuta.”
60 Northern Travellers Intercepted in a Cow-filled Truck at Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
On Monday, several security outfits intercepted about 60 men hiding in a Lagos-bound truck filled with cows at the Berger end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
It was gathered that the travellers, who reportedly came from Zamfara and neighbouring states, were heading for the Agege area of Lagos.
It was learnt that some of the men jumped down from the truck and fled on sighting the personnel of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences (Enforcement Unit), the Rapid Respond Squad, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps, Vehicle Inspection Officers and the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps at the boundary between both states.
The security personnel, however, denied them access into the state and turned them back.
The motor boy, who accompanied the truck from Zamfara State, Kabiru Haruna, said the cows were meant to be delivered to an abattoir in Agege and expressed surprise that the security agents stopped them.
He said, “We left Zamfara around 6 pm on Sunday, but not all of us here are from Zamfara State. Some are from Sokoto, Kano and Kebbi states. I am the motor boy for the truck, and I followed it from Zamfara down to where we are currently.
“We want to deliver the cows to an abattoir in Agege. I can’t really say the exact time we were stopped because I did not take note of the time. I don’t know why we were stopped.”
The truck driver was asked to go back to the point of take off after most of the fleeing men had regrouped at the pin-down point in Berger.
Confirming the incident to one of our correspondents, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said the men could not be allowed into the state.
He stated, “Forty-two men from Zamfara State hid in a truck and were intercepted at the Berger end of the expressway. The law is very clear; if you’re escorting a vehicle conveying food items, you must not be more than seven, but these people violated the law, and they were turned back.
“We have been searching all vehicles and all food items thoroughly to be sure that nobody is being smuggled into the state and this has helped us. We have sent the truck back; it cannot come into the state.”
Ebonyi Man Whips 11-year-old Neighbour to Death
On Tuesday, an Ogbonnaya Daniel was arrested by the Ebonyi state police for killing the 11-year-old daughter of his co-tenant, Miss Ukamaka Nwuzor.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Loveth Odah, stated this in a statement in Abakaliki on Tuesday.
Odah said the matter was reported to the command’s ‘B’ Division, Kpirikpiri, Abakaliki by the deceased’s father, Peter Nwuzor.
She said following the beating, the victim was taken to the Alex Ekweme Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (AE-FETHA) for treatment where she was confirmed dead.
Odah said the suspect had been arrested and an investigation was ongoing after which he would be charged to court.
The statement read, “On May 2, 2020, at 2.15 pm, one Peter Nwuzor of Omege Avenue, Abakaliki, reported at ‘B’ Division Kpirikpiri, that by 9am of the same date, his co-tenant at the address mentioned above, one Ogbonna Daniel, aged 28, a native of Asaga in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State, beat up his daughter Ukamaka Nwuzor, aged 11, to a coma.
“Following the report, police detectives immediately visited the scene of the incident. The victim was rushed to the A-E Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FETHA I) for medical treatment, but was later confirmed dead by the medical practitioner on duty. The corpse was deposited at the same hospital mortuary for preservation and autopsy.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is a next-door neighbour of the deceased’s family and there was an altercation that the deceased (Ukamaka) poured unclean water near the suspect’s apartment. As a result, he descended on her, beat her to a coma, which led to her death.”
Imam arrested for Flouting Ban on Gatherings in Delta
The Imam of Ekakpamre, Mohammad Young Okotie was on Friday arrested by Delta state police officers for defying the ban on gatherings.
The Imam had defied the stay-at-home and social distancing order of the state government and led hundreds of Islamic faithful in congregational Jum’at service.
The incident happened on Friday, April 23 at Otu-Jeremi in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state.
“Imam Okotie led hundreds of Muslim faithful, and held Jumat service at the Ekakpamre Central Mosque in Ughelli South Local Government Area, thereby violating the prohibition on gatherings in the state,” a source told our correspondent.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Onome Onowakpoyeya, confirmed the arrest.
He said, “The Imam was arrested about 11 am on Friday, May 1, 2020.
“He is currently held at the Otu-Jeremi Police Station for possible prosecution according to the laws of the land.
“The State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Mohammed-Inuwa, had ordered his arrest a few days ago.”
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