Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command and soldiers from the Guards Brigades on Saturday, foiled a bank robbery in Mpape, a few metres from Maitama, Abuja.
During the face-off, the security forces gunned down a suspect who attempted to escape and arrested four others on the premises of a bank where they holed up for almost two hours.
The security operatives had arrived at the bank and cordoned off the exit points shortly after the robbers entered the premises in an attempt to burgle the Automated Teller Machines.
NE gathered that the robbers were trapped in the banking hall from about 12pm to 2pm until the security forces arrested them.
Witnesses said the suspected robbers planned to rob the ATMs on the premises but were frustrated by the prompt arrival of police operatives and soldiers who engaged them in a gun duel.
A resident, identified simply as Alhaji Abdullahi, said the gang attempted to rob a bank worker who was stocking the ATMs with money.
According to him, a soldier and a suspect died during the exchange of gunfire between the security personnel and the robbers.
He stated, “About eight robbers entered the bank premises and attempted to rob a staff member who came to load money in the ATMs. On seeing them, the security officer on duty hid and called for police reinforcement.
“The police came and after some time, soldiers arrived to support them. But during a shootout, a soldier was killed while one of the robbers was also gunned down.”
The FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, confirmed the incident to newsmen.
He stated, “It is a foiled bank robbery. We stopped the robbers from raiding the bank. Four men were arrested while a suspect was killed. Investigation has commenced to determine how they entered the bank.”
A huge crowd thronged the scene as the news of the robbery spread, causing serious traffic gridlock on the narrow road that leads into the community.
The residents hailed the security personnel as the police took away the suspects in their patrol vans.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has commended the security operatives for arriving at the scene on time to foil the attack.
Atiku, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 general elections, called for improved security of the country and its people next year.
“I am proud of the proactiveness of the Nigerian Army and Police in foiling the bank robbery in Abuja,” he said in a tweet.
The former Vice President added, “It is my hope that this will be the face of a reinvigorated security in the new year,” he tweeted.
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