By Elizabeth Chukwuma
For years , thieves had been invading Banks in different parts of the country and escaped with ease. But nemesis appear to have caught up with the dare-devil robbers , who had attempted to rob a First bank branch, at the Mape area of Abuja, at the Federal Capital Territory , FCT, on Saturday, December 28, 2019.
Those who are conversant with the Abuja Metropolis Map, knew that it is only the major Expressway that separates the Mape area , one of the numerous suburbs Communities, in Abuja, and Maitama , described as a high brow area occupied by the rich people . The invasion of the first generation bank , at Abuja, home of all the security agencies in the country, bear eloquent testimony to the fact that no place is safe and the the thieves are no longer afraid of the police bullets . This is why security has t be beefed up in the Banks to protect Customers deposit.
They were said to have found their way into the bank at about 10 am, after shooting sporadically to scare away the people in order to loot the bank and also rob the Customers using the ATM . The saying that ‘’every day is for the thief and one day is for the owner of the House became a reality at the First bank branch. The thieves may not not have put at the back of their mind that this information age where their action in such a busy area could easily leak out to the police and other security agencies. The operation turned turned to be their last
The Value News learnt that no sooner they found their way into the Bank to start their operation than the Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, IGP’s anti-robbery squad, SARS, Abuja Police Command and the Army quickly contacted and they did not waste time in arriving the scene. The security operatives, according to sources were said to have barricaded the entrance to the bank premises, thus forcing the thieves to remain indoors ATM holding the Saturday workers and the few ATM users hostage.
The Magazine was informed that an attempt by one of the robbers to brave the odds and escape when it became obvious that the robbery operation had leaked out to security operatives within Abuja and its environs was met with stiff resistance. This is because of the tight security mounted by SARS, Army and the Department of State Security, DSS, who joined to foil the Bank robbery. The unlucky was gunned down.
Mariam Yusuf, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, and Deputy Spokesperson , FCT, Police Command reportedly said that normalcy had returned the area after four of the suspects ere arrested. According to the Police Spokesperson, the thieves were trapped inside the bank for over four hours. He disclosed that nothing was lost or taking away from the bank by the thieves due the quick intervention of the security operatives. ”How bad to end the year in the Police net as a thief”, remarked Abdul Lawal, who rushed to the scene to catch a glimpse of the criminals.
The Magazine watched on Channels Television how the Thieves were forced into a security vehicles as crowd gathered to look at the faces of the Criminal elements between the ages of 20 and 25, who want to become millionaires overnight through stealing. They had looked confident as they showed their face for people to to capture their their look. The crowd were said to have followed the security vehicles mocking at the thieves, and praying that they should be killed as a deterrent to other Bank robbers instead of dragging them to Court considered time wasting.
Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President and Presidential Candidate f the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, who could not hide his feelings over the good job done by the security agencies personnel to foil the bank robbery attack commended them for being proactive.”I am proud of the pro-activeness of the Nigerian Army and the Police in foiling the bank robbery attack in Abuja”, he had tweeted.
With the arrest of the four bank robbers and killing of one of them, in a gun dualwith security operatives, Adamu , the message is clear to Bank robbers that it is no longer going to be business as usual.
The Abuja Bank robbery has shown that the Bank Authorities must work closely with the Police to tighten up security in all their branches across the country to forestall futures Bank robberies. They need to support the security agencies, particular, the police with operational vehicles and other working tools as the attention of the thieves appear focused the banks and not private residences.
Last August, a gang of robbers had attacked a first generation bank, in Iju Town, Akure North local government area of Ondo state. The thieves were said to have killed a female Banker and carted away an undisclosed amount of money from the Bank Vault.
Recall that in April 2018, armed robbers had used dynamite to blow up a Vault in a bank at Offa, Kwara state, north central Nigeria. No fewer than 20 suspects were said to have been involved in the robbery operation. The robbers, who were armed with assault rifles, were said to have attacked two banks as they shot sporadically into the air to scare away people who were ready to challenge them with their bare-hand. Virtually all the thieves who were involved in the Offa bank robbery operation had been caught and dealt with according to the Law.