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Robbery Scare Forced Banks to Shutdown in Oyo

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A robbery scare forced commercial banks to close early yesterday, in the Oke-Ogun area in Iseyin town of Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State.

The banks took the decision following a warning letter sent by anonymous writers to one of the financial institutions in the neighbouring Oyo town in the state.

The content of the letter said the banks in the town should expect their invasion is located at Owode in Oyo town, and this has caused other outlets of the bank to be operating spatially over the fear of possible robbery. The development has, however, made the banks in Iseyin town and other parts of Oke-Ogun, to limit their operations to 12noon. The bank that received the anonymous letter, purportedly written by armed robbers to expect their invasion, is located at Owode in Oyo town, and this caused other outlets of the bank to be operating spatially over the fear of possible robbery.

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A source stated that when other commercial banks, especially those located in the Oke-Ogun area got wind of the letter, they met with the police authority and were told to ‘use their discretion’ as the police had no capacity to face bank robbers. The source added that even the 12pm closure was risky, judging from what the security agency told the team that contacted them.

The source said: “There is nothing anybody can do; we heard that robbers sent letter to a popular commercial bank at Owode in Oyo town, and our superiors went to meet with the DPO in Iseyin and he said the vehicles the police have could not even be used to chase armed robbers.

“Experiences that we have of bank robberies show that these daredevil robbers have superior firepower than our security agencies. So, as the police said, it is better to use our discretion. The letter to the bank at Oyo might even be a diversionary tactic to make security agencies concentrate at Oyo, while they come to our area.”

As gathered, previous bank robberies in Iseyin were greeted by loss of lives. No fewer than three people were killed in 2007 when armed robbers attacked a bank, located at the Barracks area of the town.

A traffic police officer was said to have been killed in 2012 during another attack in the town on a bank at the Oluwole area of the town. Two of the robbers were reportedly killed by policemen later. Another case of bank robbery took place at Okeho, Kajola Local Government, near Iseyin in 2020.

Efforts to get the response of the police was abortive as phone calls to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Iseyin Divisional Police Headquarters, Okutapemo, were not picked up. The Police Public Relations Officer for the state, Adewale Osifeso, could not also be reached on his mobile phone for comment.

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