Police Public Relations Officer of the Benue State Police Command, SP Catherine Anene, has said the three policewomen who were not armed during the Otukpo bank robbery incident that occurred on October 20, 2023, were the only officers killed.
In an interview, Anene explained that police officers who were armed were able to defend themselves, “so, the robbers shot from outside and threw in locally made explosives into the station to distract the police while their men were robbing.”
According to her, on October 20, 2023, at about 3:15 pm, the command received a call from the late Divisional Police Officer, Otukpo, that there was a robbery situation in Otukpo that seemed to be difficult for him and that he would be needing help.
“He said he didn’t think the division alone could handle it. So, the command started mobilising policemen within the Otukpo Area Command to see how they could support them before the arrival of policemen from other areas within the command because they are far and considering the distance and the bad road.
“At about 4:15 pm or thereabouts, after pushing in men to support them, we gave them some time while men from here, Makurdi division were moving to see how they could meet up.
“Unfortunately, we could no longer speak with the DPO, his phone was ringing but nobody picked up. It was then we called other offices who explained to us what happened,” she said.
On how the robbers operated, she asserted that the robbers shared themselves around the banks, some then engaged policemen at the division to stop them from coming out to interrupt the robbery while others went to the banks and there was a serious gun battle between them and the police division.
“Even in the area command in Otukpo, it took some time for our men to go in because of the bad road within the town. So, they came in after some time and by then, the robbers had robbed two banks. They (robbers) attacked the other three banks but they didn’t enter because help (from the police) had started coming. So they (robbers) started finding their way to escape from Otukpo town,” the PPRO added.
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