Armed robbers strike Otukpo town, leaving a trail of devastation and casualties
The Benue State Police confirmed on Saturday that the Divisional Police Officer of Otukpo, CSP John Adikwu, along with three other officers, lost their lives during a daring armed robbery on commercial banks in Otukpo town.
The armed robbers created chaos among Otukpo residents when they targeted multiple banks in the area on Friday afternoon, sending shockwaves through the community.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) SP Catherine Anene, in an official statement, disclosed that five banks were simultaneously robbed. An intense confrontation ensued between the police and the assailants, with the DPO and his team engaging in a gun battle but unable to prevent the banks from being targeted.
BREAKING NEWS: Bank Robbery That Happened Today At Otukpo Area In Benue State. Zenith, UBA, First Bank, Stanbic Bank Were All Robbed Simultaneously In Broad Daylight.— Somto Okonkwo (@General_Somto) October 20, 2023
Several People Including Nigeria Police Officers Were Shot Dead During The Robbery. An eyewitness who simply… pic.twitter.com/BfjE5Ozq9q
“On 20/10/2023 at about 1615hrs, armed robbers invaded Access, First, Zenith, UBA, and Stanbic banks Otukpo simultaneously,” said Anene. She added that in a subsequent pursuit, security operatives managed to neutralize two of the armed robbers, while others abandoned their vehicle and fled into the bush along the Otukpo–Taraku axis.
“The DPO, who sustained a gunshot injury to his stomach, and three other police officers have been confirmed dead at the hospital. Other persons who sustained injuries in the bank have been moved to the hospital for treatment,” explained the PPRO.
An investigation into the matter has commenced, although details about civilian casualties during the robbery incident remain undisclosed.
A military official involved in the confrontation revealed the challenges faced by security forces during the operation, citing the difficulty in engaging the robbers due to the presence of a crowd of innocent people at the scene.
Governor Hyacinth Alia has condemned the robbery attacks on the commercial banks, expressing condolences to the families of those brutally murdered during the incident. In a statement, the governor denounced the affront on the state, particularly as it occurred during a security council meeting at the Government House in Makurdi.
“It is an unfortunate development that people who were on duty, especially police officers, were shot and killed in cold blood by those mindless robbers,” Governor Alia remarked. He assured that security agencies are actively pursuing the perpetrators and vowed that justice would be served.
The governor urged citizens to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to security agencies, emphasizing the collective responsibility of safeguarding the community.
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