A senior official of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Samuel Ndudiri, is now in police custody for allegedly inviting robbers to rob a branch of the bank in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Also arrested with Ndudiri was a dismissed policeman, Sergeant Promise Ukwuoma, who was among the security personnel attached to the bank.
On December 22, 2016, acting on the insider information allegedly provided by the 28-year-old Ndudiri, the robbers stormed the bank with gas cylinders, iron cutters, cutting saw and acetylene gas power among other weapons to break into the bank.
But while breaking into the bank, the police swooped on them and arrested three of suspects while others fled.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Don Awunah, gave the names of the three suspects arrested during the attempted robbery as Samuel Nwala (28), Lucky Ukwuoma (26) and Kaale Taagabah (27).
Awunah said the armed robbers had successfully broke down the well-fortified security doors and barriers and taken over the banking hall.
According to him, they were almost pulling down the bank vault and other strong rooms with the use of gas cylinder, welding machine and iron cutters before the joint Police Teams of IGP’s Intelligence Response Team and policemen from Rivers State Police Command moved in and dislodged them.
The police teams, the FPRO added, foiled the armed robbery attack and arrested Nwala, Ukwuoma and Taagabah.
He said: “In the course of thorough investigation into the foiled armed robbery attack on the bank, the principal suspect (Ndudiri) who is (an employee) of the bank and the mastermind of the armed robbery attack was subsequently arrested based on the confessional statements volunteered by the three suspects arrested at the scene.
“The arrest of the principal suspect led to the arrest of ex- Sergeant Promise Ukwuoma, who participated actively in the armed robbery attack on Udoma the bank.”
Awunah said two AK47 rifles and the ammunition were recovered from Ukwuoma.
All the suspects, according to him, have volunteered confessional and useful statements to the police about the various criminal roles they played in the commission of the crime.
The FPRO listed the items recovered from the suspects to include two AK47 rifles and magazines fully loaded with ammunition, a welding machine, two gas cylinders, iron cutters, a big chisel, cutting saw, hammer and acetylene gas power.
“However, concerted efforts are being intensified to arrest other suspects still at large and bring them to justice. The case will be charged to court on completion of investigation,” the FPRO added.