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Crime & Punishment of Sunday, 26 September 2021


Ogun banks shut over robbers’ threat, ignore police assurance

Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi

Despite police guaranteeing their safety, commercial banks in the Ijebu-Ode area of Ogun State have refused to open for business over fear of attack by robbers.

Our correspondent gathered that the banks have shut down since Monday following letters allegedly sent to some of them by suspected robbers.

It was gathered that the banks insisted on closing their branches except the state government assisted the police with armoured personnel carriers to be mounted close to their branches.

Some residents of Ijebu-Ode, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said many had been travelling to places such as Sagamu, Abeokuta and others to deposit or withdraw money.

An unidentified point-of-sale operator lamented that the development “portends great danger” for him and others in the business in Ijebu-Ode.

The operator said, “We withdraw money from banks to pay our customers and we also deposit in the bank when we have large sums of money with us. If the banks are not opening, it will negatively affect us. In fact, it is affecting me already. I’ve been going to Sagamu to make withdrawals. It is bad.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the development, said the bankers were only entertaining fear “where there is none.”

He said, “I don’t see any reason for that action. Honestly, there is no reason for it at all. The police called them and assured them of their safety. The police are posted everywhere. They saw the presence of the police. They are claiming that the armoured personnel carrier (stationed) there is faulty.

“Even if it has a fault, is it not the police that will still operate it? And it is the same police that said ‘no problem, open your shops, you don’t have any problem as far as security is concerned.’ But I don’t know the motive behind it. All the DPOs in the Ijebu area including the Area Commander met with them and assured them (of their safety).”

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