The Police Command in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has unveiled the identity of the Abuja First Bank staff, who acted as insider in the failed 28 December robbery in Mpape.
Mr. Bala Ciroma, the commissioner of police named the bank staff as Larry Ehizo, a customer service officer, who had worked there for two years.
Ciroma said Ehizo was the mastermind of the aborted robbery.
At a news briefing today, Ciroma also announced that the police recovered four locally made pistols, one Peugeot 206 car and two daggers from the suspects arrested in connection with the attempted bank robbery.
He said four suspects were arrested over the robbery.
Ehizo, 30 years-old, claimed he was dragged into the robbery by one Ernest, who is now at large, because he threatened to kill him, his girlfriend and his family if he did not help the gang rob the bank.
Ehizo, the 2014 graduate of Political Science from the University of Abuja said he drove the five robbers into the bank premises in his vehicle.
He said he was promised N7 million or 20 per cent of the loot by Ernest had the operation been successful.
“I met a friend (Ernest) in November and we had a discussion where we used to hang out and I said something after he complained about our services in the bank and we almost got into a serious argument and I told him that the only thing he would do is get angry and maybe not bank again with us.
“He said he was going to hurt someone and I told him not to do that. That the highest he can do is to do that or maybe rob the bank to make them feel bad.
“I did not know he had that on record and he used that to threaten that after some time that I must take the people that he would bring into the bank.
“He threatened my family, myself and even the people around me. Even my girlfriend. After that, I was afraid to go to the police because he said even if I go to the police that he had already informed his colleagues and because he is a cultist and he said that anything I get after that I should take it.
“That is when he brought them. I still begged him and he went as far as my family house and threatened to kill them. He now brought them on that day that I should take them in and tell them what to do.
“He even followed to the bank but escaped when they caught them. He insisted I take my car to take them inside the place and that was the only thing I was supposed to do and leave the rest for them to do. The person is at large. His name is Ernest.
“I didn’t report to the police because of the threat. He actually brought his fellow cultists to my house and threatened me and my girlfriend that I must take them.
“If I had gone to the police I would not have been here talking now. Members of my family also would not be. He knows my family house and knows where I stay personally at Mpape.
Ciroma said other items recovered from the suspects are: two cutlasses, one axe, one pliers, one Infinix note phone and one saw blade.
The CP said the suspects were arrested following a distress call and prompt response of police operatives and other security agencies to the scene of the incident.
He said the command has commenced investigation into the incident, adding that three additional locally fabricated pistols and some dangerous weapons had also been recovered from the hideout of the suspects.
Ciroma said efforts were being intensified by the command to arrest other members of the gang currently at large.
Also, the CP said operatives of the Command’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad on Dec. 5 arrested one suspect at his hideout in Benin over a stolen car.
The CP said the suspect was arrested following an ongoing investigation into a reported case of a car snatched at gun point in Abuja.
He said another suspect had also been arrested following the confessions of a suspect that he was his cohort during police investigation.
Ciroma said the suspect was arrested at Ruga village in the FCT in possession of the firearm used for the operation.
“Further investigation has led to the smashing of another notorious armed robbery syndicate directly linked to a suspect.
“Members of the notorious gang that have been terrorizing Life Camp-Lugbe axis that have been arrested are (four).
“Exhibits recovered from the gang are one AK-47 rifle, one cutlass and a garden scissors.
Ciroma said operatives attached to Galadima Police Division on Dec. 20 arrested one suspect in Kano for stealing a Toyota Avensis belonging to his employer.
The CP said the suspect was arrested while exchanging the car with a Toyota Corrolla in Kano.
He said that operatives attached to the Rapid Response Squad in collaboration with Life Camp Police Division on Dec. 25 also arrested two suspects during a stop and search operation.
The suspects were arrested while in possession of one locally made pistol, one AK-47 live ammunition and dried leaves suspected to be Marijuana.
He said the suspects would be charged to court upon completion of investigation.