Ondo: Reign Of Robbers

By Nwangwu Uba

Barely three days  after  the  bursar  of the Akure Diocese  of the Church of Nigerian,  Anglican Communion ,Ondo state,   Gabriel Kola Abiodun, was killed by, an alleged eleven -man gang , suspected to be armed robbers after allegedly going to Bank to withdraw money , another criminal gang attacked  a branch  of first generation  Bank , First Banki branch, n Idoani town,  Ose local government  Area, an indication of  a reign of robbers in the state.

The robbers appear to have thrown a challenge to Mohammed Abubakar  Adamu, the acting Inspector General of Police, IGP,  who is equal to the task , to tighten up security around  public institutions , particular Banks.  Security experts  believe that the robbers  may  chosen a wrong time to attack  a branch of   the first generation  bank in the south west state as  Adamu, the no nonsense IGP, would fish  them  from their hiding place.

 As a prelude to tracking them  out from their hiding,  The Value News learnt that the acting IGP , has given a matching order to  Undie  Adie, the state Commissioner of police, to get  the robbers who are on the run.It was gathered that no sooner than  information filtered out  the robbery incident than the Commissioner  mobilised his anti robbery  officers into action.

 Femi Joseph, a Superintendent of Police and the  police  Command Image maker  reportedly  said   that one of the suspects   has been arrested  in connection with the robbery  attack  in the Idoani town. The suspect, according to him , is helping the  state  Police Command in their investigations  to  track the other fleeing robbers.

 Ondo state is one of the closest states to Edo, the home state of the notorious  armed robber, Lawrence  Nomanagbon Anini, alias, Ovibigbo or, the Law, who terrorised the state with the alleged collaboration of his police informant in the 80s.

 This is why Adie , the Ondo state Commissioner of Police, may have to cooperate  with  Olusegun  Odumosun , his counterpart in Edo  and other states in the south west, particular Zubairu Mu’azu,  the Commissioner  in-charge of Lagos state , who has a track record,  to fish out the robbers from their hiding.

A security expert who spoke to The Value News  has advised other Commissioners of Police from other states in the region not to see  the Bank robbery incident  in Idoani town  as an Ondo state Police Command  matter but the Force Challenge.

 This is why they must mobilise their anti-robbery  personnel, SARS, to join forces with the Ondo SARS  to track the hoodlums in their hide out in any part of the region through exchange of information.

The Idoani   Bank robbers, were said to have escaped   through a nearby bush in the area  with an unspecified  amount of money stolen from the bank vault. But A Customer was said to have lose N4.3 million to the robbers. Note that shortly after their escape,  soldiers arrived the town but there was no much they could do as  people were afraid to give out clues on how to track them through the  bush for fear of being arrested.

Undie Adie: Ondo State Commissioner Of Police

Recall that the robbers had stormed  Bank  on the Monday, April 8, Afternoon, shooting sporadically, to scare the Bank officials, customers and security personnel away. They were said to have gained access into the Banking Hall  by  using explosive devices , suspected to be dynamites, to broke the  security doors. 

 Eye witness account said   the robbers shot and killed  about seven people  ,including the Bank Staff, a Police Inspector, who may have  been caught unawares before he could cork his gun  to fight back  and  Customers, using the Automated Teller Machine  , ATM, to withdraw money at the time. Snippets from the town said several other  people sustained bullet wounds  and are presently  on admission   at the Intensive Care Unit at the  only government General Hospital in the town receiving treatment.

Many believe that that the Authority  had installed Close Circuit Television, CCTV, in the Bank Manager’s office, he should have been able to know when the robbers  entered the premises to rob , to quickly alert the police at the Divisional Headquarters for re-enforcement to nip their action on the bud. Banks should see it as part of their security measures to install CCTV in their premises to decipher strange faces entering the banking for other ulterior motives than coming   for Bank  transactions.

 Being hi s first major security  challenge in the state,Adie, the state  Commissioner of Police in the state,  may have  assured the people  of his determination   to smoke out the robbers from their hideouts  as he has  appealed to them , particular ,residents of Idoani,  to be ”law abiding and remain calm.  Appealing to them  not to entertain fears , he  disclosed that, the”. Police  are on top of  the situation”

  At present, the First Bank branch in the town , according to source may not be opened for business  until the situation returns  to normalcy  with improved security in the town and the local government Area , in general.   The Idoani Bank robbery  incident may not be  be the only one in the country. there have been several Bank robbery incidents in the past  both in Lagos and other part of the country. which should throw a Challenge to Adamu , the acting IGP, to find a lasting solution to Bank robbery in the country before people lose confidence  in the country’s Banking for fear of robbers.

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