BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI, ABUJA – A gang of suspected armed robbers on Saturday engaged men of the Nigeria Police and Nigerian Army in a shootout after invading a first generation bank in Mpape area of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Mpape is a densely populated settlement within the administration of Bwari Area Council of the FCT.
An eyewitness claimed that the armed men had stormed the bank on Saturday morning, but there was quick response from security personnel, who moved in to take position around the premises.
The reports said the robbers shot sporadically into the air to scare people away and gain entry into the banking hall.
According to the reports, human and vehicular traffic was hugely disrupted as a combined team of armed soldiers, Nigeria Police and special anti-robbery squad arrived the scene and condoned off the area but the robbers dug in, refusing to come out and surrender.
As at time of filling this story, efforts by the security personnel to end the siege, have yielded results as some of the armed robbers were actually smoked out from their hiding through the effect of teargas cannisters emptied into the banking hall and other offices.
Confirming the incident, the FCT Police command said in prompt response to a distress call at Mpape, they were able to foil the attempted robbery attack at a First Bank branch at about 1200 hours.
It said “Police operatives were immediately deployed to the scene and engaged in crossfire with the robbers thereby foiling the attack on the bank with the back up from the Nigerian Military.”
A press statement on the incident by Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Yusuf Mariam for the Commissioner of Police, FCT Police Command, Abuja, said; “Consequently, Four (4) suspects were arrested and one (1) shot dead while trying to escape.”
It further stated that “The Commissioner of Police has ordered a discreet investigation of the incident”, adding; “The Command urges residents to remain calm as normalcy has been restored while reaffirming its commitment to nip crime in the bud and ensure safety in the FCT.”
“In case of emergency contact the Command through any of these emergency numbers: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653 and 08028940883”, the statement said.