It was sorrow, pain and grief yesterday [Feb 12] in Ikirun, headquarters of Ifelodun Council of Osun State, as armed robbers laid siege to commercial banks in the heart of the town, killing 10 persons, including four policemen.
The Guardian gathered that the hoodlums had arrived the town about 1.30pm and shot sporadically into the air, ostensibly to scare away residents before they began their operation, in which at three banks were robbed. The robbers were said to have gained access to the banks after using dynamite to break security doors in all the banks. Like a Nollywood movie, bank workers and residents, who were in the range of the operation, were said to have made frantic efforts to escape or seek refuge wherever possible.
Traders, business operators and offices in the neighbourhood hurriedly closed shops and scampered to safety. Six civilians and four policemen were said to have lost their lives in the operations, which threw the residents into mourning.
The Guardian learnt that distress calls were made to the law enforcement agents, who stormed the scene and engaged the hoodlums in a shootout that lasted about 45 minutes and in the process, killed two of the robbers and injured one, while one of them was caught.
The anti-riot policemen reportedly barricaded all the entry points to Ikirun, making it difficult for the robbers to escape. Thinking the game was up, the robbers in turn engaged the security men in a shootout and having realised that they had been trapped, made fruitless efforts to escape.
“Before the arrival of the Police, the robbers had killed about four policemen, who were mounting security at two of the banks. “Four bank staff and two customers of the bank were also killed during the robbery operation,” sources said. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Osun Police Command, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, confirmed the incident, but said only one policeman was killed, while three of the robbers were gunned down by the anti-riot policemen during the shootout.