It was a bloody scene at the Idi Ape – Iwo Road area of Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday, when armed robbers attacked bullion vans conveying money.
The 10-minute gun duel between the police and the armed robbers occurred around 1:00 p.m. According to an eyewitness, the incident claimed the lives of some passers-by including some police officers.
The robbers, who were masked, allegedly killed three police officers and one female student returning from school. Many passers-by, including a motorcyclist were also injured in the incident.
As at the time The Guardian got to the scene, two vans riddled with bullets, shattered glasses and wreaked police cars were seen. According to an eyewitness, the masked men followed the van from Iwo Road to Mary Hill Junction leading to Nigerian Army Officers’ Mess Road, where they eventually opened fire on the three vans. They were said to have made away with huge cash.
Officers and men of Nigerian Army, Amotekun corps, the police and others were on ground to restore law and order in the area.
The state’s Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko and the Special Adviser (SA) to Oyo State Governor on Security Matters, Fatai Owoseni also visited the scene.
Onadeko, however confirmed four dead in the robbery incident. According to a statement, the CP said: “Consequently, a civilian was hit by stray bullet and died at the scene while two police officers later died in the hospital as a result of gunshot injuries.
“Four others including two police officers are responding to treatment.”“The armed robbers engaged the Police Officers escorting the bullion van and in the process, an undisclosed amount of money was carted away.
“In swift response, the police neutralised one of the armed robbers while some escaped with gunshot.” She enjoined the citizens not to panic, as efforts are on to track down and apprehend the criminals, saying, “the Oyo State Police Command seeks the cooperation of the good people of the State in providing necessary information to help maintain the relative peace and tranquility being enjoyed in the State. As always, if you see something, say something.”
Reacting to the incident, the state Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Isaac Omodewu, said: “Governor Seyi Makinde must do something urgently about the parlous state of security in Oyo, instead of his unnecessary involvement in national politics at the expense of the state.”