Gunmen suspected to be dreaded armed robbers yesterday carried out a broad day robbery in Otukpo local government area of Benue State leaving at least seven persons dead and carted away huge sums of money running into millions.
Three policemen and some members of the Community Volunteer Guards (CVG), a security outfit floated by the state government to help track and contain worsening insecurity situation in the state as well as some market women were also allegedly killed.
It was gathered that the suspected robbers made incursion into the densely populated local government at about 3:15 p.m and used dynamites to force the doors of the banks open.
Seven people, including policemen and a former councillor transacting business in one of the affected banks, were reportedly killed by the suspected robbers who operated for more than one hour before leaving unchallenged.
The state Command of the Nigeria Police, via its Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Catherine Sewuese Anene, confirmed the deadly attack.
Anene, a Superintendent of Police, simply said in a telephone message that the “Otukpo robbery incident is confirmed. Details will follow as soon as I receive it please”.
Otukpo is the home of former Senate President, Senator David Mark as well as the political seat of Benue South senatorial district comprising of Idoma and Igede ethnic nationalities.
A witness said “the robbers first attacked the police station before proceeding to the banks”.
He told Saturday Telegraph that “It was sporadic gunshots that alerted people and passers-by of the arrival of the suspected robbers”.
“Everyone scampered for safety. What they did was first attack the police station, which is near the three banks.
“The banks affected include
Zenith Bank, and First Bank Plc.
“The robbers operated for more than one hour without resistance from security operatives and they killed two people.
The eyewitness said the robbers were throwing Nigeria currency notes as they left in two Hilux vehicles and one other car.