Ten persons have been confirmed dead after the Offa bank robbery in Kwara State yesterday Thursday. The dead included four policemen, about six other residents and bank customers.
Armed robbers had invaded commercial banks in Kwara State town of Offa yesterday. The banks robbed include branches of Guaranty Trust Bank, Eco Bank, First Bank, Union Bank and Zenith Bank.
The Offa bank robbers invaded the town a few minutes past 4 p.m. and shot into the air sporadically to scare away residents and passersby before the operation began.
An eyewitness, who identified herself as Mrs. Tijani, said the thieves came in large numbers, and split themselves into teams to carry out the operations in different banks.
Sources in the town said the robbers blew up entrances into the banks with dynamite, before carting away money from the five banks.
Mrs Tijani said:
“They used something like bomb to break into Union Bank,” she said.
Also, a student of Federal Polytechnic Offa, Dennis Ifeoluwa, explained that gunshots and heavy sounds filled the air. Business activities and vehicular movement ceased during the operation.
“I was coming from where I’m undergoing my Industrial Training when these sounds started. I had to hide myself somewhere.”
“After a while they left. Only to discover dead bodies outside. I saw someone’s intestines outside today,” he narrated.
The robbers then invaded the community police station known as Owode Police Station where some police officers and a few civilians were shot dead.
Reacting to the Offa bank robbery, the Kwara State Police Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi, told PREMIUM TIMES that the command could not immediately confirm casualty figure.
He also hinted that the amount stolen by the robbers was still unknown.
Banks in Offa, Kwara have been victims of robbery attacks, especially during Yuletide periods. The rampant cases of robbery in the communities once forced banks in Offa to shut down operations for a long period.
A resident who identified himself simply as Ahmed told PremiumTimes that Thursday’s attack remains the deadliest in recent history.
“Offa is in serious mourning now. This is the most tragic and deadliest attack in recent years,” he said.
Here are more photos from the Offa bank robbery: