The Benue State Police Command has confirmed that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Otukpo, Chief Superintendent (CSP), John Adikwu, along with three other police officers, tragically lost their lives during the violent bank robbery in the town.
Additionally, the Special Adviser on Security to Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State, Col. Alex Igbaya (rtd), has reassured residents that adequate security measures are being implemented to prevent any future occurrences of such a deadly multiple bank robbery in Otukpo.
The incident involved armed individuals arriving in two Hilux vans and a car, equipped with explosives and sophisticated weapons.
They targeted commercial banks in the area, resulting in the deaths of several individuals, including police officers, vigilante members, and a local government councillor. The perpetrators successfully made off with significant amounts of money from the banks.
According to a statement released yesterday by Catherine Anene, the Public Relations Officer, it was revealed that the security personnel successfully pursued the gang and intercepted them on the Otukpo-Taraku road. The criminals abandoned their vehicles and fled into the forest after two of them were killed in the ensuing gun battle.
The statement stated, “On October 20, 2023, at approximately 4:15 pm, a group of armed robbers simultaneously attacked Access Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank, UBA, and StanbicIBTC Bank in Otukpo.
Despite the efforts of CSP John Adikwu, the Divisional Police Officer in Otukpo, and other police teams, they were unable to prevent the banks from being robbed.”
Additional police teams, along with other security agents, were dispatched to Otukpo to support the efforts in securing the area and preventing the robbers from escaping.
During a confrontation on Otukpo-Taraku road, the robbers were involved in a shootout with officers, resulting in the death of two of the criminals.
The remaining members of the gang fled into the nearby forest and are currently being pursued by the police.
Tragically, the DPO and three other police officers were fatally injured in the incident and have been confirmed dead at the hospital. Individuals who were injured during the bank robbery have been transported to the hospital for treatment.
An investigation is currently underway to gather more information on the events.
In the meantime, Governor Alia’s Special Adviser on Security, Col. Igbaya, has assured the state’s residents that adequate security measures will be implemented to prevent any future occurrences of these deadly multiple bank robberies.