Eyewitnesses on Friday told City Round that armed robbers that attacked two commercial banks in Iree, Osun State, walked customers out of the premises before they attacked the banks.
Three of those who were on the premises of the United Bank for Africa and Access Bank located side by side on Iree/Ikirun road, also told City Round that the robbers numbering over 20 asked them to leave the premises because they didn’t want to injure anyone.
They told all of us not to struggle with them and they walked us out of the premises before they commenced operation. They launched attacks on the two banks at the same time. Some of their men also cordoned off the Ikirun/Iree road to prevent attack while the operation lasted. They arrived at the banks some minutes after 4pm and operated unhindered for over 30 minutes. They later fled in four vehicles through Iree/Ada road,” one of them who spoke on condition of anonymity told our correspondent.
A reliable security source also told our correspondent that the robbers took Ada/Igbajo road and tried to connect Imesi-Ile to escape to Ekiti State when a hunter blocked them in a forest in Igbajo and forced them to abandon their vehicles.
He added that a combined security team comprising policemen and men of Hunters Group of Nigeria chased after the robbers who fled into the bush.
Also during the attack, one Jelili Dauda, a constabulary was reportedly killed at the Iree Divisional Headquarters by the robbers.
Four other civilians shot by the robbers were said to be receiving treatment in different hospitals within the state. Dauda, 30, is survived by two wives and three children. He was reportedly killed with explosives after several bullets fired at him did not penetrate.
Three sentenced to death for Osun bank robbery
His elder brother, Lateef Dauda, in an interview with City Round said the deceased demonstrated uncommon bravery, describing his death as painful and devastating.
He said the deceased had been buried according to Islamic rites at Iree Muslim Cemetery, calling on the police and well-meaning Nigerians to assist the late Jelili’s family.
Giving an update on the robbery on Friday, Osun State Commissioner of Police, Wale Olokode, said the robbers threw improvised explosive devices and fired several shots into the station located beside the affected banks.
He said, “Before the attack, some IEDs were thrown into our station to incapacitate the police and at the end of day, one constabulary was killed. They attacked the locations simultaneously. The three places came under attack almost the same time, meaning that the robbers would have been about 20. Unspecified amount of money was taken away and the armed robbers operated in four vehicles. At the approach of policemen, the armed robbers fled. They later abandoned their vehicles and entered the bush on foot.