A gang of four armed robbers attacked a Zenith Bank branch in Owerri on February 22, 2017, carted away some undisclosed amount of money from a customer whom they trailed to the premises.
Four months later in June, an almost 3 minutes CCTV footage which captured the robbery was released to the public.
The 2.58 minutes video, which immediately went viral, showed a courageous police officer attached to the bank, Chuwkwudi Iboko, engaging the robbers in a gun duel from a security post at the bank’s entrance.
One of the robbers, later identified as Ikechukwu Opara, was shot dead after he came to attack Chukwudi Iboko at the security post.
Soon after, Chukwudi could be seen running out of the security post as one of the robbers shot continuously in his direction.
He was said to have died the following day, following gunshot injuries he sustained during the attack.
Another policeman with him on the premises, Agbo, was also said to have died shortly afterwards, while the third policeman,
Sergeant Otu Attang, lost one of his eyes.
Zenith bank has said it would foot the bills for the treatment of Sergeant Otu Attang, who lost one of his eyes during the attack. And also sponsor the education of the children of the late two cops, Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko and Sergeant Sunday Agbo.
You recall, in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH Newspapers, Chukwudi’s widow, Rose, lamented that one of their eight children, Chukwuebuka, died from shock during the burial of the father.
Punch reports that the Imo State CP, Ezike, during a press briefing at the command’s headquaters in Owerri, described the slain cops as heroes who would never be forgotten.
Ezike also said the management of Zenith bank gave financial assistance for the burial expenses of the victims and released start-up business funds for the deceased families.
Ezike noted that the bank also agreed to be giving monthly allowances to the families, including a promise of scholarship to any level of education for the children of the deceased officers.
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He recalled that shortly after the robbery, the command got a marching order to arrest the robbers that killed the cops who were from the 18 Police Mobile Force Squadron, Owerri.
Ezike said investigations led to the arrest of the robbery suspects, which included 36-year-old Justice Ogbonna, aka JJ; Abiye Charles; and Okechukwu Nwanegbo, aka Modestus.
The commissioner said the police recovered two AK-47 rifles and one AK-49 rifle with 175 rounds of ammunition from the suspects.
Also recovered were four cars – one Toyota Avalon, two Toyota Camry, and one Toyota Corrolla.
“Let me state for the avoidance of doubt that the trio of Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko, Sergeant Sunday Agbo and Sergeant Otu Attang, remain our heroes. They were gallant, professional, and courageous; they displayed encouraging passion in defence of lives and property. The Nigeria Police Force, under the able leadership of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has not, did not and will not abandon them and/or their families.
“As you are well aware, the Nigeria Police Force is a Federal Government agency governed by laws, rules and regulations in all matters, including financial matters. Be rest assured, therefore, that the financial rights, entitlements, benefits and even privileges of these our own shall be fully paid, and on time too.
“The two deceased officers were recommended for posthumous promotion, while the injured officer was also recommended for a special promotion to his next rank. I am very confident that very soon, the Inspector-General of Police will graciously announce the promotions.
Similarly, the command is in constant touch with the families of the deceased officers. We have made and will continue to make financial assistance to cushion the effect of the loss of their loved breadwinners.”
He thanked Nigerians for their support since the security video went viral, saying the job of protecting lives and pro
perty could be hazardous.
The police boss said the state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, had promised to meet the families of the policemen.