There was pandemonium in Oye-Ekiti on Thursday as armed robbers stormed a branch of the United Bank of Africa (UBA) in the town and left two people dead.
The robbers, in the daylight operation, carted away money from the bank’s vault and stole from the customers.
When PREMIUM TIMES visited the robbery scene, our reporter saw the corpse of a girl, said to be five-year-old, on the floor.
She was shot in the head while returning from school.
A police officer attached to the bank was also shot dead.
The robbery started around 3 p.m.
Witnesses said the robbers besieged the bank and operated for over 30 minutes. They came into the town in green camouflage uniform and shot sporadically into the air, witnesses said.
Many residents of the community were seen shedding tears, particularly over the death of the little girl.
An official of the affected bank, in a telephone interview, narrated how the killings occurred.
“A policeman was killed with a small girl sitting beside the bank. There are some shops behind the bank, so the policeman was sitting in front of the shop with one small five-year-old girl.
“I think they targeted the policeman but the small girl, unfortunately, had shared part of the bullet. Two of them died,” the official said.
The spokesperson of the Ekiti State Police Command, Caleb Ikechukwu, said the armed robbers gained entrance to the bank using a phylum explosive.
“There was a robbery attack on the commercial institution in Oye-Ekiti. We are still investigating on that(number of casualties) as soon as I have confirmation I will issue a statement in regards to the incident.
“The armed robbers were dressed in a green camouflage uniform. They gained entrance into the bank with the use of phylum explosive,” the police spokesperson said.
Thursday’s incident increases the number of fatal bank robberies in Ekiti.
In September, a policeman was killed when armed robbers attacked a bank in Ise-Ekiti.
In the Ise-Ekiti incident, the armed robbers also operated for about 25 minutes, thus putting to question the response speed of the police to armed crime in the state.