Edo banks robbery was more than two hours –Uromi monarch
According to Anslem Odaloighe Eidenojie II, the Ojuromi of Uromi, the assault on four commercial banks in Uromi town, in the Esan North-East Local Government Area of Edo State, was carried out by suspected armed robbers, which was denounced by the Ojuromi.
According to Eidenojie, the incident was akin to a war zone since the gunmen not only gained control of the region but also murdered innocent bystanders and police officers.
“The situation was like a war zone and it lasted for over two hours and the robbers took control of the area and killed my subjects,” the monarch said when he received a delegation of the state government, including the State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, at his palace during an on-the-spot assessment of the scene of the robbery incident.
At least five people, including two police officers, were allegedly slain on Thursday when a group of armed robbers launched a ferocious assault on five commercial banks located along Market Road in the region, according to reports.
Additionally, it was reported that the alleged armed robbers hauled away large quantities of money from the impacted financial institutions as well.
Speaking during his visit on Friday, Obaseki, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Philip Shaibu, said that the thieves would be apprehended and punished, despite the fact that he was not there.
he urged the residents of Uromi to go on with their daily activities as usual, noting that the state government had enhanced security and monitoring in the region in order to guarantee that calm was restored in the area.
“This attack is a well-organised crime. We have heard from the people and have increased surveillance in the area. We are here on behalf of the governor to find out what happened and know the extent of the damage. We are here on a fact-finding mission and have interacted with bank officials, eyewitnesses, traders, and people living in the area and seen the level of destruction and damage done.
“We reassure our people of improved security in the area and guarantee their safety. In the next week, people of this area will see government action on the matter. By the grace of God, these people will be arrested and brought to book,” Obaseki, visited the hospital where the injured victims were being treated, added.
As for the armed robbers, according to Marcus Onobun, the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, the lack of information by security services, as well as the porous character of the town contributed to the ease with which they robbed banks and murdered individuals, including two police officers.
While speaking on national television on Friday, which was monitored in Benin, Onobun said, “With what I saw, you could see that the security was overwhelmed. It’s quite unfortunate that such an incident could be carried out without any formal intelligence to the various security agencies because I don’t think that such an action was planned overnight. These criminals had various vehicles and sophisticated weapons.
“The area is quite porous; it has a boundary with Delta State and there are some other routes to some riverine areas, especially Illushi where you have the River Niger.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Command said on Friday that the amount of N34.5 million as well as four of the cars involved in the heist had been recovered.
Motorcycles, bags carrying women’s goods, and one Union Bank ATM card were also found, according to a statement released on Friday by the Command’s spokeswoman, SP Bello Kontongs.
The statement read in part:
“Today (Friday) at about 07:30, operatives of the Edo State Police Command, in conjunction with local vigilantes accompanied by Chief John Odijie, the Oniha of Ubiaja, led by the DPO Ubiaja acting on credible information that some vehicles suspected to have been used by armed robbers in the Uromi bank robbery operations on Thursday were seen hidden in Oruen Quaters bush of Ubiaja in the Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State.
“Recovered are a red Camry car with registration number, EZA 105 KJA; an ash Camry Car with registration number, KWL 19 DU; ash Corolla car with registration number, UBJ 734 SZ; a Lexus 330 car with registration number, AAA 973 FL, and two motorcycles. Two small bags containing women’s items, one Union Bank ATM (card) and N34,510,000 were also recovered.”