Daredevil armed robbers, Wednesday, hijacked a mini bullion van belonging to the state government in Kuto area of Abeokuta.
The Director of Finance and Account in the Office of the Governor, Taiwo Oyekanmi, was shot dead in the process while the robbers made away with unspecified amount of money belonging to the government.
The Director, it was gathered, was leading the bullion van from branches of Fidelity and Sterling Banks in Abeokuta where he had gone to pick up undisclosed amount of money when he was waylaid by the gunmen on the way back to the office.
Sources said the hooded gunmen, about five of them, intercepted the home-made bullion van while ascending the overhead bridge at Kuto and opened fire on the accountant.
The bullion van, registered under the number X pilot 13, was said to have been dangerously intercepted by the AK-47 wielding robbers who were said to have come to the scene with a Silver coloured Toyota Corolla without registration.
It was further gathered that the hoodlums wielding sledge hammer broke the bullion van door went away with the government’s money.
Insiders said Oyekanmi and other aides who sustained gunshot injuries during the attacks were rushed to the State General Hospital, Ijaye, where the accountant later died.
“These suspects were armed with AK-47 rifles and were traveling in an unregistered silver Toyota Corolla, and suddenly they trapped the Bullion van by double crossing it.
“The armed men first interrogated the driver if they have rifles in the vehicle and specifically inquired about the identity of the Director of Finance.
“In a display of anger, the armed men fired shots at the front door of the vehicle, where the director was seated.
“As a result of the attack, the Director of Finance sustained bullet wounds on his thigh and private part, he was rushed to State Hospital, where he later gave up the ghost,” the source said.
The driver and other occupants of the robbery attack were said to have remained unharmed.
An official of the government revealed that a police escort attached to the accountant was not part of the team as he had taken a permission to attend to family matters.
The source said the Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, had already visited the late accountant’s residence to commiserate with the family.
The Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with our correspondent Wednesday night.
He said “This afternoon, the accountant, the Director of Finance with driver and one other person left for Fidelity bank to make some withdrawal, they went homemade bullion van.
“They were supposed to have a police escort, but for certain reasons, the person was permitted to travel to attend to some issues, so consequently he was not part of the movement to today.
“According to the story, after making the withdrawal, and on their way back to the office, they were accosted. A vehicle blocked them on top of the bridge, five occupants of the vehicle came down, shot at the director and from their vehicle, they brought out a sledge hammer to force the receptacle where the money was kept open and they left with the money.
“As at that time there was no information, the police escort was not with the team and they sped off.
“The driver claimed to have trailed them to a point along conference hotel where he lost contact with them.
“The director that was shut was thereafter taken to Ijaye hospital where he eventually gave up the ghost.”
Alamutu said he had demanded for the CCTV footage from the bank to aid the police’s investigation.
“For our investigation, I have directed the area commander to get to the bank and request for the CCTV footage which will give us insight into the vehicle in question and possibility of identifying the culprits if they ever ventured to step out of the vehicle or maybe they just maintained their position in the vehicle.
“I have reached out to Lagos and everywhere in the command to block all the exits out of the state while we are trying to identify them because they said they were five and they used hood.”