A former Divisional Police Officer for the Offa Command of the Nigerian Police force, CSP Adamu Danjuma has narrated how armed robbers killed 17 policemen and eight civilians during an April 5, 2018 attack on several banks and a police station
The revelation was made during the resumed trial of five suspects charged for the Robbery as well as stealing of 21 AK47 Rifles from the police armoury during the attack. The five suspects are standing trial for conspiracy, armed robbery, possession of firearms and ammunition as well as murder.
Danjuma told the court that the armed robbers destroyed the Offa Police Station Armoury and the banks with explosives.
The DPO said,
“On the said date about 4:45 pm I heard a gunshot from the direction of Captain Cook Eatery Junction in the town; two minutes interval I heard sporadic shootings from that direction heading towards my police station. Immediately, I came out of my office to the charge room (counter). The shootings were approaching the station.
“In response, I also fired gunshots into the air from my pistol. As a result, there was a temporary stoppage of shootings from outside. Suddenly, the shootings started coming in from different directions towards the station. A lady who was manning the pedestrian gate was shot in one of her arms making her abandon the place and ran for her dear life. The shootings continued.
“Thereafter, the robbers released explosive into the security tower of the station. Another explosive was released and it hit the main road and bored deep hole on the road. This melee disorganised the whole station. Then, the ammunition in my pistol had got exhausted. This made me to run for cover at the back of the station’s mosque.
“At the back of the mosque, I sighted three of the armed robber chasing ASP Julius Pelemo to the back of the station’s fence. Then, I heard the shout of the late Julius after a gunshot. I heard one of the robbers calling those that ran after the late ASP to come over to the charge room (counter). One of them entered the Surveillance Office and shot dead a policewoman. Two of them ran to the charge room (counter).
“I now changed my position to the toilet near the back of the fence. At that place, I was able to communicate with the state Commissioner of Police, deputy commissioner, operations and the command’s spokesperson seeking for reinforcement. While this was happening, simultaneously, I was hearing gunshots at the banks’ direction in the town. I was also hearing explosions and accompanying flames around the bank’s area.
“At an interval of between five and 10 minutes, I would hear shootings from the charge room, making it impossible for me to come out of the toilet. After a while, I heard shouts from the town that ‘olee they don go.’ From the toilet, I headed straight for the charge room and then for the armoury to see the level of damage. When I entered the armoury I discovered that they had broken the armoury key. I went to my office and took my office padlock to lock the armoury.”
The DPO narrated that three civilians including a suspect brought in for questioning and two civilian witnesses were killed by the armed robbers in the police station.
“While I was planning to take corpses of the deceased to the mortuary, the Administrative Officer of Mopol came into the station with two police officers shot dead at their duty post in the banks. In addition, other people brought in corpses of civilians killed by the robbers.”
He testified that he was able to organise the movement of 17 dead bodies to the General Hospital in Ilorin for an autopsy.