Daredevil armed robbers yesterday ambushed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) bullion van at Hawan Kibo in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State on Abuja Road.
The gunmen also killed two police sergeants. Hawan Kibo, shared by Plateau, Kaduna and Nasarawa states, is a dangerous location which has, for many years, served as haven for armed robbers. It is a bushy and rocky area with a very difficult terrain. Hawan Kibo is not far from military check-points in Riyom and Sopp.
It was learnt that the bullion van and escorts of armed mobile policemen left Jos yesterday morning en route to Abuja before the ambush. Sources said that immediately after a military check-point at Hawan Kibo, the robbers, wearing military uniforms, emerged from the bush and attacked a patrol team belonging to the Plateau State security outfit, “Operation Rainbow,” attached to Riyom Local Government.
They killed a mobile policeman on the spot. A witness, who was travelling from Jos to Akwanga, told our correspondent that the bullion van ran into the robbers who opened fire on the convoy.
The witness, who pleaded anonymity, added that there was a heavy presence of policemen on the road. The Plateau State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Tyopev Terna, said two sergeants were killed. Terna added that some CBN workers were injured in the attack and were receiving treatment at different hospitals.
The PPRO said incident occurred about 8:30a.m. According to him, the police in the state and other security agents are on the trail of the robbers. He said: “The robbers engaged the escorts in a shootout, leading to the death of two mobile policemen who were sergeants and others injured.”
The police image maker added that three other policemen attached to the bullion van were injured. Terna said the bullion van was carrying money from Jos to Lafia in Nasawara State.
He added: “It was a clear case of ambush; they were attacked unexpectedly. Policemen escorting the bullion van repelled the attack; unfortunately we lost two of our men on the spot, while three others were badly injured.” The PPRO, however, said the robbers were not able to cart away money from the bullion van “because our men responded vigorously; they reacted firmly”.
At press time, several security agents were deployed to protect the van which has been parked at the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) office in Riyom on Abuja Road.
_ New Telegraph