By Nduka Emu, Asaba
There was pandemonium in Issele-Uku branch, headquarters of Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta state on Tuesday as some armed robbers attacked a branch of United Bank for Africa (UBA) in the town.
A eyewitness said the robbers gained entrance into the bank after using explosives suspected to be dynamite to blast the bullet-proof door.
According to the eyewitness, the robbers spent over one hour on the operation.
He disclosed that no fewer than four persons were killed in the robbery attack.
The eyewitness said security operatives around the area refused to show up until the robbers had left.
“This attack is a reoccurring one in the community. Yesterday, they robbed for an hour and the police didn’t show up, neither did the army nor the community vigilantes until they left, that was when they showed up as usual.
“I counted about four bodies, the police station is about a minute drive from the scene of the robbery, while the NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) orientation camp is about three minutes drive to the scene too. Yet, there was no presence of these uniformed men.
“The army has their patrol guiding the orientation camp, yet didn’t show up during the operations.”
Another resident of the community who witnessed the incident had said the armed robbers, who invaded the bank had some of their gang members stationed at different vantage positions in the community while some of them were at the bank.
“The armed robbers came well prepared. It was like an American action movie. The robbers had sophisticated weapons. Sounds of gunshots rented the entire village while the operation was on. There was panic everywhere and the police were nowhere to be found. As they were shooting sporadically, stray bullets hit someone and she died immediately and others had bullet wounds.
“Our hopes were dashed as we were counting on the police station in the town. As this was going on, we heard the the Divisional Police Officer and his men had gone into hiding somewhere else. We heard that the robbers earlier visited the police station and were searching for the DPO and his men but the police who got wind of their presence quickly took cover. The destruction at the bank was massive.
“If I am not mistaken, three years ago, the same bank was attacked and robbed and some millions of naira were stolen. So many people, especially customers were left with serious wounds. When today’s robbery incident was going on, so many of us were calling lines made available to the public to reach out to the security outfit code named ‘Operation Delta Hawk’ that was inaugurated by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa last year, but unfortunately they never showed up till the robbers left the community.”
When contacted, the acting Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bright Edafe, Delta State Police Command, confirmed the robbery incident, saying, “The command is already at the top of the situation. Our men are presently in the bush trailing some of the gang members who ran into the bush. For the now, we don’t have the accurate number of casualties.”