There was pandemonium on Wednesday, February 19, in Akure, Ondo State capital, as commercial banks forced to close very early as around 11am for fears of a possible robbery attack in the city.
Newsflash247 online news portal gathered that a gang of robbers had last week wrote two financial institutions at the Oja Oba Market area of Akure that they should be prepared to receive them any time soon.
The situation also forced many customers including traders, who transact businesses in and around banks, to run for cover.
A source in the accounts department of one of the banks said that the situation might be linked to an alleged security report that armed robbers had laid siege around banks with plans to launch an attack, Sahara Reporters reports.
It was gathered that many of the banks that had opened for operations early suddenly closed for the day as early as 11:00am for fear of being attacked.
Also, customers, who had gone to carry out various transactions, were quickly chased out of most banks as a result of the situation.
A private security guard at one of the banks, said that a gang of robbers had last week wrote two financial institutions at the Oja Oba Market area of Akure that they should be prepared to receive them any time soon.
He said, “What actually happened today was a result of the panic from a letter written by some gang of armed robbers to Union Bank PLC in Oja Oba branch that they were coming any time soon to attack the bank.
“And since then, officials of the bank have strengthened security within their vicinity including undercover police personnel.
“In fact, we are also aware that the First Bank opposite us got a letter too from the bandits and it has been creating fear amongst staff.
“So, immediately the report got in today, the bank managers sent a signal and we had to quickly close the gates for fear of being attacked despite the arrangement of security within the premises.”
Our correspondent who moved round the Alagbaka area of the town and the Oja Oba markets observed that vehicles belonging to the Security Joint Task Force of the Ondo Police Command were stationed at strategic places when the news circulated round the city.
Also, men of the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Akure, were seen patrolling major parts of the city as a result of the robbery scare.
Reacting, the Ondo State Police spokesperson, Femi Joseph, said the report of the robbery attack on some of the banks were lies and mischievously cooked up.
Joseph, in a statement on Wednesday, said, “The Ondo State Police Command wishes to inform the general public to disregard any rumour of bank robbery or attempted bank robbery in Akure or anywhere in the state.
“We make bold to say that the story is not only false and mischievous but also wicked and lacks substance as no such incident happened anywhere in the state.”