Two persons, including a private security guard, identified as Matthew and a 53-yea- old carpenter, Ayo Alawode are among victims of a Christmas eve bank robbery in Ekiti State.
The tragic incident which occurred in Okemesi Ekiti in Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State saw when a 9-man armed robbery gang invade and attack an old generation bank in the town at about 5.30pm.
The robbers who occupied the whole Odo Ese Street in the town shot sporadically into the air, forcing people in the market and other public institutions to scamper in different directions for safety.
One of those who witnessed the incident, told newsmen in Ado Ekit, on Saturday, that customers using Automated Teller Machine were marched into the bank hall by four of the robbers, while others took strategic positions outside.
The bandits who according to the source, blew off the bank’s security door with dynamites when they could not gain entry, held the staff and customers hostage and carted away money running into millions.
The source revealed that one of the robbers had been at a nearby popular joint close to the gate of the bank reading newspapers before others came in a black Toyota Sienna, where they immediately ordered the guard and the carpenter to lie down.
The source said as the robbers were on rampage, one of them was shot by a yet-to-be identified person and he died instantly, a development that infuriated his gang members.
At this point, they started shooting at those sighted outside, where Alawode, whose shop was located beside the bank, was hit by a bullet in the head and he died on the spot while the guard died on the way to the hospital.
10 other persons, who hid in their different homes were reported to have been hit by bullets and are now receiving medical treatment in a teaching hospital in one of the neighbouring states.
“Immediately those in the banking hall realised that one of them had been shot, they thought it was done by a policeman and they quickly ran out. When they got outside and saw that the police were yet to arrive, they immediately shot the carpenter and the guard while those in the bank got the opportunity to escape.
“We made efforts to call policemen at Ijero Ekiti, but they didn’t come in time, same to soldiers at Ita Ure Junction. Though, they later came after the robbers had escaped through Ijero road”, he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the State Command, Mr Alberto Adeyemi, who confirmed the incident, said that two persons died during the daylight robbery.
He said investigations are on-going as and promised that those behind the gruesome attack will be apprehended soon.