Elijah David, a robbery suspect, has confessed that Larry Ehizo, an employee of First Bank of Nigeria, Mpape area of Abuja, led his gang to rob the bank.
The armed robbers were arrested on Saturday following a failed attempt to rob the bank — they were trapped in the bank by security team of police officers and soldiers who had laid siege to the bank, as one of the robbers who tried to escape was shot dead.
Speaking when they were paraded by the police on Tuesday, the suspect said Ehizo informed him and his gang that they could get as much as N7 million from the failed heist.
“Ehizo told us that the job could fetch about N7m. After we entered the bank, we saw a riot policeman on duty but sleeping, so Obinna pointed a pistol at him and we tied him with an old sponge,” he said.
“Mr Larry told us that he would keep the other door open for us. So, Larry and Obinna later went upstairs with a pair of pliers to disconnect the CCTV.
“On our way out, Larry suddenly shouted, ‘Ah, the MOPOL has escaped’; then, I ran inside and all of us scattered. I didn’t know what to do. Then the police began firing teargas into the premises.”
Another suspect, Princewill Obinna, said the banker told them that the robbery would not take more than 15 minutes.
“Mr Larry told us there that there was a deal he wanted us to execute and that it would not take more than 10 to 15 minutes,” he said.
“He said the bank would not operate on Saturdays and that if we could come around, he would help us to get the money out.”
However, the banker said he was blackmailed into the robbery by one Ernest, a customer of the bank.
“Ernest is a customer of the bank and that is where we got to know each other, because I work in the customer service unit of the bank,” he said.
“There is a place I used to drink, that’s where he works as a barman. He told me to tell the gang members how to get inside, show them where the CCTV was and that I should show them where the police officer on duty would be.
“When we drove into the bank, he even called me, because he was across the bank. He said I should just do as agreed and out of fear, I said yes.”
Bala Ciroma, FCT police commissioner, said four locally-made guns, one Peugeot 206, two cutlasses, two daggers, one axe, a pair of pliers and one Infinix Note phone were recovered from the suspects.