Gunmen invade banks in Benue, kill seven

Armed robbers on Friday stormed three banks in Otukpo, Benue State, and carted away an unverified amount of money.

The robbers were said to have driven into the town around 3:15 pm and used dynamite to force the door open.

Seven persons, including policemen and a former councillor, transacting business in one of the affected banks were reportedly killed by the suspected robbers who operated for more than an hour.

Otukpo, regarded as the political seat of Benue South senatorial district, comprises of Idoma and Igede ethnic groups.

An eyewitness, who owns a business close to one of the banks, said the robbers first attacked the police station before proceeding to the banks.

The source stated, “It was aimless gunshots that alerted people and passers to the arrival of the suspected robbers. Everyone ran for safety. What they did was first attack the police station near the three banks.

“The robbers operated for more than an hour without resistance from security operatives and they killed two people.”

The eyewitness said the robbers threw naira notes into the air as they left in two Hilux vehicles and a car.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Benue State Command, SP Catherine Anene, confirmed the robbery incident but said she had yet to get details from officers in Otukpo.

Anene added, “I have not been able to speak with the DPO (Divisional Police Officer) or any of the officers there but I know there was an incident. I don’t want to disturb them, so let’s give it some time.