Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
A customer, who ran amok inside the banking hall of new generation bank, caused panic, on Wednesday, in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
The customer, later suspected to have mental challenges by the police, reportedly entered the bank along Tanke Junction and started packing bails of money in front of bank cashiers in a wild manner.
His action caused a stampede in the bank that forced waiting customers outside to run helter-skelter raising alarm of a robbery incident.
The news of the suspected robbery immediately spread like a wild fire in the ancient city forcing other banks to hurriedly close shop till noon.
Eyewitnesses told The Nigerian Xpress that, “bank customers, passersby and motorists at Tanke Junction were seen scampering for safety over a believed bank robbery.”
The sources added that the situation forced a diversion of routes by passersby and road users, particularly those on the way to the University of Ilorin, where the 5th National Youth Games was holding.
Shop owners had to hurriedly shut down to avert attacks by believed robbers and stray bullets from the police trying to abort the robbery or the robbers possibly while trying to escape.
Meanwhile, the state’s Police Command, through its spokesman, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi, dispelled the claims that the incident was a robbery attack.
According to him, “It was an alarm raised by a customers in the banking hall that forced customers outside and other people to take to their heels.
“Somebody raised an alarm and we all began to run for our lives.
Okasanmi, in a statement, asserted that “It is a case of a mentally ill person, who strayed into the banking hall and started packing the monies on the bank counter.
“The Kwara State Police Command wishes to inform the general public of the unfounded news going round that armed robbers invaded a bank in Tanke area of Ilorin this morning,
“This has brought about some level of panic and agitation in the people.
“Finally, members of the public are advised to be conscious of happenings around them and report any suspicions movement to the Police”, the Police Spokesman added.
“The Kwara State Police Command wishes to inform the general public of the unfounded news going round that armed robbers invaded a bank in Tanke area of Ilorin this morning, this has brought about some level of panic and agitation in the people.
“The Command wishes to state that, what actually transpired was that, a man strayed into the said bank, and started packing monies on the bank Counter which eventually led to commotion in the banking hall.
“Police men came in and arrested the suspect who was promptly taken away. Preliminary investigation however revealed that the suspect is of unsound mind”, it said.
The statement explained that peace had been restored back to the area and the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ag. CP Kayode Egbetokun, had ordered aggressive patrols of the city to further instill confidence on members of the public particularly banks in the state.
“Finally, members of the public are advised to be conscious of happening around them and report any suspicions movement to the Police”, the statement submitted.