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Saturday, 7 April 2018

Offa Bank Robbery: 30 Feared Dead

The number of persons that lost their lives to the bank robbery in Offa, Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, on Thursday may have risen to 30.

This was a sharp increase in the 12, comprising six policemen and six civilians, that was reported on Friday.

Several eyewitnesses who spoke with Punch newspaper said body count at the scene of the incident indicated that those who lost their lives were about 30.

One of them said, “I personally counted up to 30 dead bodies and I am sure the figure might increase because a lot of people were critically injured by gunshots.”

Meanwhile, the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Lawan Ado, said on Friday that nine policemen and seven civilians were killed by the armed robbers that stormed five banks in Offa.

Sources also said the operation lasted for over one hour. It was also learnt that the armed robbers, who were about 30, blew up the entrances to the banks with dynamite and reportedly carted away millions of naira.

They had shot aimlessly and killed many people during the operation.

But speaking through the command’s spokesperson, Mr. Ajayi Okasanmi, in a telephone interview with Punch newspaper on Friday, the commissioner said the police had commenced investigation into the robbery and that six vehicles used by the robbers for the operation had been recovered.

Ado said, “Nine police personnel and seven civilians were killed during the robbery operations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has pledged that the state government would pay the medical bills of the victims of the accident.

Speaking when he visited the victims at the hospital on Friday, the governor, who had ordered that the victims be moved from Offa to Ilorin for better medical care, had, on his Facebook page, directed health services in the state to rapidly deploy emergency services to treat those injured in the attack.

The governor, who went round the wards to meet with the victims, described the incident as unfortunate, while praying to God to grant the injured victims quick recovery.

He said, “We will take care of all their hospital bills; we must begin to watch one another’s back. Policing is everybody’s job, therefore, when we see strange people in our communities, we must learn to report to appropriate security agencies because activities like this require some time for planning and execution.

“I offer my heartfelt condolences to the people of Offa and the families of the victims of this attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who died in the attack. I’m in constant touch with the security agencies in the state and I have urged them to do all within their powers to secure Offa and environs and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

He also stressed the need for community policing, saying the police would do better if they have information.

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