Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command Special Anti-Robbery Squad have arrested one Ernest Ewim, a 29-year-old, believed to be the mastermind of the foiled bank robbery in Mpape area of Abuja last week.
One of the suspected robbers was killed by the police, while four others were arrested in the incident. A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the FCT Police Command, DSP Ajugunri Manzah, yesterday read: “Following the ongoing investigation into last Saturday’s foiled robbery attempt at a bank in Mpape, operatives of the FCT Police Command Special Anti-Robbery Squad have arrested one Ernest Ewim ‘m’ 29 years, a member of the notorious armed robbery gang, who had been at large.
“The suspect, who played a major role in the foiled robbery attempt was arrested by the team of police detectives at his hideout in Katampe1 on Wednesday new year day at about 4:00p.m. With this arrest, the total number of suspects arrested in connection with the foiled bank robbery are now five: Ernest Ewim ‘m’ 29 years, Larry Ehizo ‘m’ 30 years, Princewill Obinna ‘m’ 24 years, Timothy Joe ‘m’ 21 years, and Elijah David ‘m’ 19 years.
“The Command reiterates its unwavering commitment to ensure the protection of lives and property and provide FCT residents with quality service delivery. The suspects will be arraigned in court upon conclusion of investigation.“
Larry Ehizo, a Customer Service Officer of a first generation bank at Mpape, Abuja, where the robbery attempt was foiled by policemen and soldiers last Saturday, has given details of how the robbers gained access to the banking hall with his help.
Larry, who was paraded before newsmen at the FCT police command headquarters on Monday, said the mastermind of the robbery, Ernest, had threatened to kill him, his girlfriend and his family if he did not help him and his gang members to rob the bank. The 30-year-old University of Abuja graduate said he drove the five robbers into the bank premises in his vehicle.
In his words: “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 maybe rob the bank to make them feel bad.
“I did not know he had that on record and he used that to threaten me after some time that I must take his people that he would bring into the bank. He threatened my family, myself and even the people around me, including 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, I would be implicated.
“He now brought his friends on that day that I should take them in and he would tell them what to do. He even followed them to the bank but escaped when they caught them. He insisted I use my car to take them inside the bank and that was the only thing I was supposed to do and leave the rest for them.”