Four cashiers, three security guards and six policemen have been held in connection with Wednesday’s robbery at the Okokomaiko, Alaba, Lagos branch of the Fidelity Bank.
The suspects were arrested following investigations by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) led by Abba Kyarri, a Superintendent of Police (SP).
The robbery occurred barely a month after a similar attack on the bank, in which a riot police officer was killed. The robbers made away with N24 million.
Last Wednesday, robbers stormed the bank and blocked two bullion vans as they drove into its premises.
The robbers were allegedly armed with AK47 rifles and magazines wrapped round their bodies.
The bullion vans were escorted by seven policemen from the heavily armed Bar Beach Police Station on Victoria Island, with two spy policemen and others.
The robbers overwhelmed the police escorts, killing two of the spy policemen.
Eyewitnesses said one died on the spot; the other on the way to the hospital. A police corporal, who was also shot, is critically ill in hospital.
The robbers broke open the first bullion, carting away all the money in it. They riddled the other van with bullets in their attempt to force it open.
When they did not succeed, they disappeared with the loot from the first van.
A police source said: “One of the spy policemen who died was a driver, while the second used to load money into bullion vans. Six policemen have been detained and four cashiers of Fidelity Bank.”
Another source said: “The matter is now with SARS. It is believed that there is an insiders’ connection. I heard that investigation has started immediately. The Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko is suspecting a foul play, considering that the bank had only recently been robbed in the same manner. He asked why it was always Fidelity Bank.”
Police spokesperson, Ngozi Braide confirmed the incident, saying: “The incident did not occur at Fidelity Bank, but at the bank’s box office, where the bank officials used to box money before moving it out. Only one spy policeman was killed. The robbers would have been caught, but because it was in the market, our policemen did not want to shoot. The bullet could hit innocent people. The car attacked was the bank’s bullion van and it came to pick boxed money. The money taken away was about N24 million.”