Former Divisional Police Officer of Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, Adamu Danjuma, on Monday said that 17 persons, including nine policemen, were killed during the Offa banks armed robbery.
He stated that eight civilians also lost their lives in the April 5, 2018 attack by daredevil armed robbers.
Danjuma, while testifying at the resumed hearing of the trial of five accused persons charged with the robbery, also said that 21 AK-47 rifles were stolen from the armoury of the police station during the operation.
The police officer, who was the fifth eyewitness to testify before Justice Haleema Saleeman of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, narrated how he escaped being killed in the robbery operation through the grace of God.
The five accused persons standing trial for conspiracy, armed robbery, possession of firearms and ammunition and murder are Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salahudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran.
Danjuma said the armed robbers destroyed the police armoury in Offa station and also used explosives to attack banks.
“On the said date, at about 4:45pm, I heard a gunshot from the direction of Captain Cook Eatery Junction in the town; two minutes interval, I heard sporadic shooting from that direction heading towards my police station.
“Immediately, I came out of my office to the charge room (counter). The shootings were approaching the station. In response, I also fired gunshots into the air from my pistol.
“The shootings continued. Thereafter, the robbers released explosive into the security tower of the station. Another explosive was released and it hit the main road and bored a deep hole on the road. This melee disorganised the entire station.
“Then I heard the shout of the late Julius after a gunshot. Then I heard one of the robbers calling those ones that ran after the late ASP to come over to the charge room (counter). One of them entered the Surveillance Office and shot dead a police woman. Then, two of them ran to the charge room (counter).
“I now changed my position to the toilet near the back of the fence. At that place I was able to communicate with the state Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner, Operations and the Command’s spokesperson, seeking for reinforcement.
Hearing in the matter continues today (Tuesday).
“While this was happening at the state, simultaneously, I heard gunshots at the banks direction in the town. I also heard explosions and accompanying flames around the banks area,” Danjuma said.