- Death Toll Rises As DPO Dies Of Gunshot Wounds
- Gunmen Abandon Vehicles, Ran Into Forest With Gunshot Injuries
By Amos Aar
THE BENUE State Police Command says it intercepted and gunned down two out of many heavily armed criminals who raided commercial banks in Otukpo, the headquarters of Idoma land in Benue State.
National Record had reported that gunmen on Friday afternoon robbed three commercial banks, namely Zenith Bank, Stanbic Bank and United Bank of Africa (UBA), killing ten persons including three police officers.
The Benue State Police Command however clarified in a detailed statement that five commercial banks, including First Bank and Access Bank, were robbed and that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Otukpo, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) John Adikwu, was among the police officers killed by the gunmen bringing to four casualties on the side of police personnel.
The command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Superintendent of Police (SP) Sewuese Anene, in a statement on Saturday morning said the police and other security agents in Otukpo had tried to stop the criminals from robbing the banks but they were overpowered.
She said more officers were deployed to Otukpo to ensure the hoodlums did not escape and that they were intercepted along Otukpo-Taraku Road where gunfire exchange ensued leading to killing two of the gunmen while others abandoned their vehicles and ran into a forest with gunshot injuries.
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The statement reads:
“On 20/10/2023 at about 1615hrs, armed robbers invaded Access, First, Zenith, UBA and Stanbic banks [in] Otukpo simultaneously.
“The Otukpo Divisional Police Officer, CSP. John Adikwu and other Police teams in the area engaged them in a gun dwell [sic] but were unable to prevent their attack on the banks.
“More police teams in collaboration with other security agents have been deployed to Otukpo to assist in stabilizing the area and prevent these robbers from escaping.
“The robbers who were intercepted along Otukpo-Taraku road engaged officers in a gun duel and two of the robbers died in the process. Other gang members abandoned their vehicles and escaped into the forest area and are been chased by the police.
“The DPO who sustained a gunshot injury on his stomach and three other police officers have been confirmed dead at the hospital. Other persons who sustained injuries in the bank have been moved to the hospital for treatment. Investigation is ongoing at the moment.” Meanwhile, pictures and video clips of the vehicles abandoned by the gunmen as well as corpses of the two of them killed by police are trending on the social media.