Officers of the Nigeria Army have nabbed one of the daredevil armed robbers who invaded the First Bank branch in Idoani, Ondo State, on Monday.
The hoodlums came in a utility vehicle and stormed the city in commando style, shooting sporadically into air.
The robbers, numbering at least seven, forcefully gained entry to the banking premises after scaring people away on their arrival around 2:30pm.
They carted away money from the bank’s vault, using dynamites to blow if up.
Our correspondent reported that the financial institution is the only one located at the the Isewa quarters of Idoani in Ose Local Council Area.
Different locals said Monday’s robbery incident would be the first of such in the sleepy community in recent years.
During their operations, no less than seven people were gunned down by the robbers, including a police inspector whose identity is yet to be revealed.
Also killed were two staff of the financial institution and two customers transacting business on the Automated Teller Machine (ATM), among others.
Five other persons who sustained varying degrees of injuries were all rushed to the General hospital, Ido-Ani, for immediate treatment.
Soldiers deployed to man security in Isua-Akoko say they have nabbed one of the robbers.
A local vigilante in the community disclosed this in a telephone conversation, saying arrested robber is in custody of the military.
“The robbers wore black and drove into the town in a utility vehicle; they ransacked the bank before entering the vaults,” said the vigilante.
“Their operations lasted close to an hour before the military men posted to Isua-Akoko boundary could race to the scene of the robbery and also engage them in gun duel.
“At the end, some of the robbbers, who were about seven, escaped through the bush path with the money, but one of them was unlucky as he was caught and shot by the soldiers and they immediately handcuffed him to the back of the military van.”
Femi Joseph, the Spokesperson of Ondo State Police Command, also confirmed the arrest of the robber in a phone chat on Monday evening.
Joseph, a Superintendent of Police, said investigation had started on the incident and vowed that other members of the robbery gang would be arrested.
“Yes, one of the armed robbers was arrested during the operation while his other colleagues fled the scene,” he said. “Investigations have started on the incident, and I can assure you that we shall arrest the remaining gang of the group,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of the state, has mandated all security agencies in the state to go after the armed robbers.
Akeredolu gave the directive while paying a condolence visit to Alani of Idoani, Oba Olufemi Olutoye, at his palace.
The Governor, represented by his deputy, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, described the incident as unfortunate but implored the security agents to fish out the perpetrators.
“We are glad that a suspect has been nabbed and I am very sure he will create a channel that will lead to the arrest of those criminals,” he said.
Oba Olutoye said the bandits also came into his compound, damaged his door and by the time they gained entrance, they discovered it was a fruitless effort. He appealed to the State government to assist the bereaved in order to lessen the burden the incident had caused them.