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Inisa, Oyan, Ila On Alert As Armed Robbers Cripple 5 Commercial Banks

  Ismaeel Uthman COMMERCIAL banks in Inisa, Oyan and Ila-Orangun should be on red alert, following the bank robberies in Okuku, Iree and Iragbiji, located in Odo-Otin and Boripe Local Governments of the State of Osun. According to security experts, commercial banks in Inisa, Oyan and Ila-Orangun might be the next target of the armed…”
October 2, 2021 9:05 am


Ismaeel Uthman

COMMERCIAL banks in Inisa, Oyan and Ila-Orangun should be on red alert, following the bank robberies in Okuku, Iree and Iragbiji, located in Odo-Otin and Boripe Local Governments of the State of Osun.

According to security experts, commercial banks in Inisa, Oyan and Ila-Orangun might be the next target of the armed robbers, going by the sequence of their operations in the past six months in the state. 

OSUN DEFENDER noted that Okuku, Iree, Iragbiji, Ikirun, Oyan and Inisa communities belong to the same Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin Federal Constituency where banks appeared to be under siege by the armed robbers. 

Of all the communities in the federal constituency, it is noted that only Inisa and Oyan have functioning commercial banks.

The commercial banks in Ikirun, headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government, Iree and Iragbiji of Boripe Local Governments and Okuku, headquarters of Odo-Otin Local Government had at different times been raided by armed robbers.

Since the First Bank, Skye Bank and Union Bank were raided on February 12, 2016, Ikirun has been left without a bank, a situation that has put the community at serious financial and commercial disadvantage. 

Though the armed robbers had successfully raided the banks, they could not escape, as they were engaged by the Police with the aid of Armoured Personnel Carriers and patrol vehicles procured by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration then.

Some of the armed robbers were killed, while others were arrested with their ammunition and loot. 

After investigations, the suspects on June 29, 2017, were arraigned on a 10-count charge of murder, armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms, stealing, conspiracy, among others, before Justice Jide Falola of the State High Court in Ikirun, by the Ministry of Justice.

Justice Falola sentenced the armed robbers to death by hanging.

There had not been any bank robbery since then until March 11, 2021, when armed robbers attacked Wema Bank in Okuku, killing two people during the operation. They later escaped through the Offa road.

After the Okuku bank raid, another bank robbery took place in Ikire and Apomu simultaneously on June 2, 2021. The armed robbers attacked First Bank and Access Bank, killing four policemen and three residents of the area. 

But their operations were not successful, as they were confronted by residents of the area, which got them distracted. They, however, escaped through Araromi-Owu road.

After the Ikire and Apomu bank robberies was another attack on UBA and Access Banks in Iree on August 5, 2021. The armed robbers killed a Police constabulary, Dauda Jelili and injured four civilians in the operation. They escaped via Ada-Igbajo route.

On Tuesday, September 28, daredevil armed robbers besieged Wema Bank, Iragbiji, the hometown of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola. 

The armed robbers, according to the Police, started their operations at about 2:55pm.  

The men of the underworld, who were about 20 in number, came with four vehicles and simultaneously attacked Iragbiji Divisional Police Headquarters and Wema Bank. 

According to eye witnesses, the armed robbers threw explosive devices at the Police Station and bank to destabilise the policemen and gain entry into the banking hall.

The Automated Teller Machine (ATM) of the bank was also destroyed but an attempt to break into the bank’s strong room was foiled, according to the Police Public Relations Officer, Osun Command, Mrs. Yemisi Opalola. 

During the operations, two Police inspectors, Ahmed Ogunbiyi and Ayinla Odeyemi, were shot dead. Also, two other civilians suspected to have come to the bank for financial transaction were also killed by the armed robbers. 

The armed robbers reportedly escaped through the Ada-Igbajo road again.

Some security experts who have been following the trend of the bank robberies concluded that the armed robbers have identified security lapses and an escape route in Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin Federal Constituency. 

According to the security experts, who prayed not to be named, the armed robbers have clearly isolated banks in the constituency as soft targets based on the availability of escape route and light security presence.

One of the experts said: “If you study sequence of the bank raids, three of the four bank robberies that have happened this year are within the same environment. Okuku, Iree and Iragbiji are in the same environment, they belong to same federal constituency.

“If you observe too, the armed robbers that attack banks in Iree and Iragbiji escaped through the same route of Ada-Igbajo road. That tells you that they had identified the security lapses in the area. They had known there was no checkpoint on the road. They know the roads lead to other escape routes for them. 

“As a security expert, I will advise the Police and other security operatives to be on their toes in forestalling any bank raid again, particularly in that axis. Banks in Inisa, Oyan and Ila-Orangun, appear to be under threat now because of the sequence of the robbery operations. Banks in those communities should be on red alert. 

“The Police should analyse the pattern of the bank raids and the road networks of Inisa, Oyan and Ila-Orangun, that will tell them something.”

Another security expert in Osogbo said the Iragbiji bank robbery should not have happened, had the Police intelligence unit been proactive.

According to the experts who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER under condition of anonymity, the Police should have acted on the bank robbery in Iree, to plan ahead in preventing similar occurrence in the area, submitting that banks in Inisa, Oyan and Ila-Orangun are also prone to attacks. 

However, the Police said it had put in place some strategies to prevent further bank robbery in any part of the state. 

Mrs. Yemisi Opalola, the PPRO, said the Police had not relented and would not relent on its effort in securing the state, saying that the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wale Olokode, is on top of his game.

According to Opalola, some suspects have been arrested in connection with the previous bank robberies this year in the state, noting that the Police would not make disclosure on the arrests in order not to jeopardise                                                                                                                                    investigations on the matter. 

She enjoined the good people of the state to cooperate and collaborate with the Police by giving prompt and useful information to nip in the bud all criminal activities, saying that prevention is better than cure.

The incessant bank robberies have awoken the consciousness of some residents of the state, who have been expressing their worries over the trend of insecurity.

Questioning the commitment of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to providing security for lives and property of the people of the state, the residents recalled that the security of the state was well managed during Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration.

Besides, some other residents of the state have taken to social media to condemn the ‘worsening security situation’ of the state, calling on the Governor to revive the security architecture left behind by his predecessor, Aregbesola. 

During his administration, Aregbesola purchased and distributed 125 patrol vehicles to security agencies in the state and specifically provided 25 fully equipped Armoured Personnel Carriers to the State Police Command. 

Each of the APCs was strategically stationed across the state.

But some residents of the state said majority of the patrol vehicle procured have been grounded, with no effort to make them operational again. 

One of the residents, Mr.  Lanre Agboola, said: “We never thought Osun could return to this state of insecurity. What is happening? The former governor has provided some security infrastructure that was responsible for the peaceful atmosphere of the state. What has happened to the patrol vans and APCs procured by Aregbesola?

“If Governor Oyetola is fighting Aregbesola, that should not be at the expense of security of lives and property of the people of the state. The Governor should revive the security programmes of his predecessor. The Governor also needs to tell us the whereabouts of the helicopter procured for security purpose during the last administration.”

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