By Samuel Oamen
A woman led the robbery gang that attacked two banks in Egbe Town, the commercial hub of Yagba West Local Council of Kogi State last Tuesday, it was learnt on Monday.
The gang was said to have fired grenades and other explosives.
Some of the robbers, who attacked banks and security formations in Egbe and Odo Ere communities in Yagba, have been arrested.
The Nation learnt the robbers killed four civilians, a police officer and a bank guard during the operation that lasted about an hour.
The coordinated operation was extended to Odo-Ere, about three kilometres drive from Egbe, where a policeman was shot dead and a girl, whose name was given as Kehinde, was hit by stray bullets.
One of the victims, Taiye, a graduate who recently got employed as a guard in the newly-opened bank, was said to have received a shot in the head after the robbers’ repeated failed attempts to gain entry to the well-fortified bank’s vault.
Another victim identified as Brother Paul, a church chorister, was hit after he walked into the robbers.
The Nation learnt that a team of security agents tracked the bandits into their hideouts.
The state command was said to have called for reinforcement, with helicopters deployed in the forests and mountains.
Two members of the fleeing gang were also arrested by local hunters at Igbaruku, a suburb of Odo-Ere while begging residents for drinking water.
An eyewitness said news of their arrests attracted an irate crowd, who gathered at the police divisional station at Odo-Ere and demanded instant justice.
According to the witness, when the police failed to yield to their demand, the crowd became unruly and in the melee, an officer mistakenly fired a gunshot that led to the death of two people.
“The irate mob retaliated, killed the erring police officer, and razed down part of the police station.
“On Saturday, three more members of the fleeing robbers were intercepted at Ejiba, while two others, who were trying to board a vehicle in nearby Isanlu, were arrested.
“The driver of the vehicle pretended like taking them on the journey but instead drove them into the police station.
“Two others were intercepted in Isanlu, during a stop and search operation when they were found to be in possession of N2 million worth of cash wrapped in an emblem of one of the affected banks.
“All arrested suspects have been moved to Kogi State Police Command in Lokoja, for further investigations and prosecution,” the witness said.