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Police Confirm K!lling Of DPO, 2 Others In Benue Bank Robbery | Citizen NewsNG  

ByCitizen NewsNG

Oct 22, 2023

 

 

• Two fleeing robbers shot dead, vehicles recovered

Benue State Police Command confirmed yesterday that two suspected members of the robbery gang that raided some commercial banks in Otukpo, Benue State on Friday have been killed.
The suspects, according to a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the command, Kate Aneene, a Superintendent of police (SP), were shot dead during a gun duel with a police team on Otukpo-Taraku Road in the state yesterday.
Aneene said the robbery suspects were trying to escape with their loot through the road when nemesis caught up with them.
She said a team of policemen engaged them in an exchange of gunfire, killing the two instantly while other members of the gang abandoned their vehicles and escaped into the forest.
Also confirming the death of a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and three other policemen during the raid, Aneene said they were confirmed dead in the hospital.
Other persons who sustained injuries in the bank, she said, have since been moved to the hospital for treatment while investigation continues on the matter.
Aneene identified the banks raided by the robbers to include Access Bank, First Bank, Zenith International Bank, UBA and Stanbic Bank.
She said: “On 20/10/2023 at about 1615hrs, armed robbers invaded Access, First, Zenith, UBA and Stanbic bank Otukpo simultaneously.
“The Otukpo Divisional Police Officer, CSP John Adikwu and other police teams in the area engaged them in a gun duel but were unable to prevent the attacks on the banks.
“More police teams in collaboration with other security agents have been deployed to Otukpo to assist in stabilising the area and prevent these robbers from escaping.
“The robbers who were inter cepted along Otukpo-Taraku Road engaged officers in a gun duel and two of the robbers died in the process.
“Other gang members abandoned their vehicles and escaped into the forest area and are being chased by the police.
“The DPO who sustained a gunshot injury on his stomach and three other police officers have been confirmed dead at the hospital.
“Other persons who sustained injuries in the bank have been moved to the hospital for treatment.”
The casualties of the attacks include DPO John Adikwu of Otukpo Divisional Headquarters; Emmanuella Ankyov, a female police officer; Emmanuel Uche who concluded his mandatory National Youth Service scheme (NYSC) early in the year and recently secured a job with UBA and two others identified simply as Uloko and Desmond.
Benue State governor, Hyacinth Alia, yesterday condemned the attacks on some commercial banks in Otukpo town.
A statement issued by his spokesman, Tersoo Kula, described the robbery incident as an affront on the state, especially that it took place at the exact time the Security Council meeting was in progress at the Government House in Makurdi.
The governor sympathised with the families of those who were gruesomely murdered by the robbers during the robbery.
He said: “It is an unfortunate development that people who were on duty, especially police officers, were shot and killed in cold blood by those mindless robbers.
“But they cannot get away with this. Already, security agencies are on their trail and must apprehend and bring them to justice.”
Alia called on the people of the state to be vigilant and always endeavour to report suspicious movements around them all the time.
The Acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, condemned the robbery attacks in strong terms, describing it as an assault on the principles of peace, security, and justice which he said the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies work tirelessly to uphold.
A statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the IGP extended his “heartfelt condolences” to the families and loved ones of the victims who were affected by “this senseless act of violence”.
He confirmed that two of the suspects were gunned down by operatives while attempting to escape, adding that the assailants “who orchestrated this brazen act of criminality have indeed murdered sleep”.
The statement added: “The IGP ordered the deployment of additional operational and investigative assets and resources to Otukpo, the Benue State Command and sur rounding states to assist in the swift apprehension of the other fleeing criminals responsible for this atrocity, as a follow-up to the gunning down of two of the armed robbers after a hot chase on Friday.
“In the same vein, going by this incident, the IGP has put all Commands and Formations on red alert to avert any further deadly attacks on our institutions and innocent citizens of Nigeria, more so that the Otukpo attack was an early warning sign of the Ember Month challenges which is often characterised by bank robbery and other related crimes.
“We therefore call upon the public to remain calm and cooperate with the authorities by providing any information that may aid in the investigation and pursuit of the suspects. Your assistance is invaluable in our mission to restore safety and security in the affected area and across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“In the wake of this tragedy, the IGP reiterates the NPF’s commitment to the safety and security of the Nigerian people, standing united against acts of violence and criminality and vowing to work tirelessly to ensure that those responsible for this reprehensible act are brought to justice.

 

By Uja Emmanuel

 

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