Two businessmen were attacked on Friday in Bayelsa by four armed men, who robbed them of the sum of N3.5 million.
The incident occurred at the Amarata area of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
The businessmen, Mohammed Garuba and his brother, Abubakar, were attacked at about 11am near one of the commercial banks in the area, where they had gone to withdraw the money.
A few meters after they left the bank, which is located along Mbiama-Yenagoa road, while driving in a Lexus Toyota SUV, a Toyota Corolla car blocked them and they were dispossessed of N3.5 million.
Several shots were fired at their victims.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mohammed said the criminals had parked in front of a supermarket, where they probably waited for him and his brother. He also noted that three of the gang members who wielded AK-47 rifles approached his side of the car, broke the glass, and asked him for the money or risk being shot.
Narrating the incident amidst tears, he said: “Just as we came out of the bank and drove to this place, they blocked us. They were four in number with a driver. Three of them carried AK-47 rifles.
“They shot me, but their bullet did not enter my body. Then they slapped me in the face and went to my brother’s side. He was in the driver’s seat and they shot him in the right thigh. He said I should give them the money and I gave them the money and they sped away. My brother has been taken to hospital.”
The driver’s seat was stained with his blood, while Mohammed’s side had shards of broken glass on the seat and on the car floor, with patches of blood.
Residents fled the area following the development. Shop owners locked up in a hurry and the attack resulted in a gridlock along the Amarata-Onopa axis of the Mbiama-Yenagoa Road, which lasted several hours.
Mohammed said the money was meant for a business transaction, and their business partner had insisted on receiving cash payment.
He also said he suspected that there was an informant at the bank who was in touch with the armed robbers, as they spent about two hours in the bank. Unlike other customers, who parked in front of the bank, they had parked their car inside the bank’s premises, after they were allowed in through the special gate reserved for bullion vans and high-profile customers.
Asinim Butswat, Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the incident, stating that the Police was investigating the possibility of an ‘inside job’.
“We are looking at those leads. You know as a businessman, there is that possibility that he may have carelessly disclosed the transaction,” Butswat said.