A bank robbery in Igede Ekiti, headquarters of Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area area of Ekiti State, has claimed two lives, while others sustained varying degrees of injury.
The incident was confirmed on Thursday by the State Police Command, saying it has also beefed up security in all banks in the state, as end of the year activities draw near.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that those who died, in the incident that occurred late Wednesday evening at a first generation bank in the town, had been identified as a bank official and a private security guard.
Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said his men had launched a manhunt for the fleeing robbers, and that more men had been deployed in banks to curtail such incidents in the future.
Ikechukwu however, did not confirm if money was indeed stolen from the bank, as he said there was hot exchange of gunfire between his men and the bandits.
This he said botched the operation as the robbers had to flee the scene upon realising that the police were closing in on them.
NAN reports that the guard, who was shot in the head, died within the premises of the bank, while the injured staff died in the hospital.
The PPRO disclosed that the robbers had planned on escaping through Ilawe-Igede road, but later drove into the bush and escaped into the thick forest between the two towns.
He said the expansive forest had already been rounded up by the police and that his men are combing the bush in search of the robbers.
“The robbers would have done more havoc than they did, but for prompt action taken by our men. There was exchange of gunshots between the bandits and our personnel. They tried their best to manage the situation
“It is true that two persons were killed during the bank operation The operation was regrettable and the death of the two persons was painful.
“The command is stepping up its intelligence gathering skill and operation. As a temporary measure, we are going to deploy more men in banks to make the place safe for staff and customers
“If you are on ground in Igede now, more men have been deployed, particularly the mobile police unit. We are doing same across the state
“As we speak, our Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) and State Intelligence Investigation Department (SIID) have drafted their men for intelligence gathering, while mobile policemen are on road and other critical areas”, he said.
Ikechukwu however urged members of the public to go about their normal businesses, assuring that the police are on top of the situation.
When NAN visited the bank, broken doors and windows of the bank appeared to been blown off with dynamite, while blood stains of those killed were still visible. (NAN)