|The pregnant Woman|
No fewer than five casualties including two policemen, a pregnant woman and two commercial bike riders, were recorded in an armed robbery incident at the Agbara Industrial Estate area of Ogun State, on Thursday [Nov. 19].
The dare devil armed robbery gang numbering about 20, including some females, was said to have stormed the area at about 7am and robbed six banks located within the industrial estate. Dressed in military camouflage, the heavily armed gang held sway in the area for over three hours, at the end of which five people were killed and several others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
The robbers, who arrived Agbara in two speedboats, were said to have hijacked two vehicles - a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and a bus - and rode right through Agbara market to Bank Road, which was their target. At each bank, the gang, despite not meeting any resistance, blew open the doors and the vaults with dynamites and packed the loot in their millions, after holding the staff of the banks hostage.
To ensure that no rescue operation would be carried out, the gang stationed some of its members at the two entry and exit routes into the road, while a police armoured personnel carrier in the area was riddled with bullets. As they made their getaway, they were said to have escaped with all the stolen loot in jute bags (known as Ghana-must-go bags in local parlance).
Before escaping with their loot through the waterways, the robbers were said to have set the two hijacked vehicles on fire. According to an eyewitness account, the armed robbers had come into Agbara through the waterway behind Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education in Ijanikin as early as 6am. Using the element of surprise, the armed robbers had at first pretended to be on official duty, as they stationed themselves on the road.
However, as soon as the operation began in earnest, all the security personnel at the Agbara checkpoint comprising the Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Immigration Service and the Nigeria Police, were said to have fled to safety when the robbers started releasing a hail of bullets.
In an official statement by the estate residents, which was made available to THISDAY by Olutayo Irantiola of R&B Public Relations Limited, the residents said they would review their security operations. The statement read: “At about 7am on the morning of November 19, 2015, there was an organised armed robbery at Agbara Estate, the first of its kind in the estate’s 37-year history.
“The target of the attack was Zenith Bank on Bank Road, where the vault and various ATMs were looted. There were two fatalities reported (two police guards at the bank). “Agbara Estate is carrying out an immediate review of its security operations and is collaborating with the local authorities and police force to prevent any such incidents happening again on the estate.”