Saturday, February 24, 2024

Gov Abiodun grieves as gunmen attack bullion van, kill government accountant, cart away millions

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR

An accountant in the employ of Ogun State Government, Taiwo Oyekanmi, has been shot dead by some daredevil armed robbers who carted away government’s funds in Abeokuta, the state capital, on Wednesday.

It was learnt that Oyekanmi had picked up an undisclosed amount of money from a branch of Fidelity Bank in Abeokuta and was heading back to the office when he was waylaid by the gunmen numbering about five.

The gunmen were said to have intercepted the homemade bullion van while ascending the overhead bridge at Kuto, opened fire on the accountant, broke the bullion van door with a sledgehammer and left with several millions.

According to sources, the Director of Finance at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, and other aides who sustained gunshot injuries during the attacks were rushed to the State General Hospital, Ijaye, where the accountant later died.

Confirming the incident, the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, said Oyekanmi and other aides didn’t go with any police escort because he was permitted to attend to some issues.

Alamutu noted that the command had demanded the bank’s CCTV footage to aid the police’s investigation.

He said, “The accountant, the Director of Finance, with the driver and one other person left for Fidelity Bank to make some withdrawals, they went in a 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 today (Wednesday).

“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.

“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 hoods.”

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has commiserated with the family of Taiwo Oyekanmi, the late Director of Finance and Accounts, in the office of the Governor, who was killed in cold blood by suspected armed robbers on Wednesday in Abeokuta.

Oyekanmi was on official assignment within the metropolis when he met his untimely death in the hands of his assailants.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Lekan Adeniran.

Abiodun described the incident as a rude shock to him, as he called for prayers for the immediate family of the late director for them to have the necessary fortitude to bear the great loss.

“I was devastated and extremely shocked upon receiving the cold-blooded murder of Oyekanmi, in the hands of criminal elements and enemies of our state.

“It is indeed a colossal loss for our administration to have lost such dedicated, truthful, and diligent official; his assailants have murdered sleep and will be flushed out immediately from wherever they might be hiding.

“I have directed all security agencies in the state to smoke the criminals out instantly and make them face the full wrath of the law. I therefore want to assure the entire workforce and residents in the state that never will such calamity befall our dear state again.

“I pray for the repose of his soul and for God’s protection over the family he left behind. Obviously, he is going to be sorely missed by his colleagues and the government he meritoriously served till death,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, on Wednesday evening, led a government delegation to the deceased’s house to commiserate with his family.

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