By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti.
Four persons, including a soon-to-wed young security guard lost their lives to bank robbery incident that rocked Otun-Ekiti, headquarters of Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State Thursday night.
It was learnt that among those killed were the Manager and cashier of Heritage Bank, security man at Unity Bank and the night guard to the town’s traditional ruler, Oba Adedapo Popoola, the Oore of Otun-Ekiti.
Oba Popoola who narrated what happened to our Correspondent, said:”it happened around past 6pm on 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 at the four outlets into the town.First was the roundabout at Erimope 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.
“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.
“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 Monarch, who said 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.
Investigation revealed that the Unity Bank security guard had also just resumed for work that evening. His soon to be wedded wife is heavily pregnant and their wedding had been fixed for about a week’s time.
A resident of the town who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity said: “The Oba’s guard killed was shot in his private part”.
The source said: “the guard was about closing the Oba’s gate when one of the robbers rushed towards him and rained bullets on him and dispatched him 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 others 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 incident, Ekiti State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Alberto Adeyemi said that the police had deposited the bodies of the four deceased at Usi morgue at the Usi-Ekiti General Hospital, adding that: “We have commenced investigations into the development and hope that the perpetrators would soon be apprehended.”