A customer care officer of a first generation bank, which was attacked by armed robbers last Saturday, Larry Ehizo, has stated that he began planning how to carry out the operation in October 2019.
Ehizo, who recanted his earlier claim that a barman, Ernest Ewim, blackmailed him into carrying out the attempted heist, said he started nursing the idea having monitored the security system and the processes in the bank.
The customer care officer said, “Everything Ewim said is true; he didn’t threaten me. I willingly collected his number and I called him and he said I should give him a few days.
“When I called him, I simply told him how they would go in, where they would see the riot policeman guarding the bank and how to disconnect the CCTV. On Friday night during our meeting, we had issues with getting a driver.”
When asked the motive for the crime, Ehizo simply stated, “I was just greedy; I thought it was something simple that I could just pull off. I had taken time to study everything; I started thinking about it since October.
“Maybe, because I work inside, I felt I could take the money. So, I gradually mapped out where the CCTV is, where the police officer stays, his movement, how people are stationed over the weekend and how the ATM functions over the weekend. I took time to map it out for over a month.”
The Federal Capital Territory Police Command had arrested the sixth member of the gang, Ewim, at his hideout on Wednesday.
Wearing dreadlocks and dressed in a light blue denim jacket and matching blue jeans, the suspect sustained injuries in his legs.
Blood oozed out of his right ear as he spoke to PUNCH Metro in Abuja on Thursday.
The police had earlier gunned down a member of the gang, identified as Patrick, and arrested four others during the failed operation.
The FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, had on Tuesday paraded four gang members including Ehizo, 30, as well as Timothy Joe, 21; Princewill Obinna, 24; and Elijah David, 19.
Ewim, who doubles as a barman and disc jockey at the Ever Ready Hotel, Mpape, explained that he organised the gang that carried out the foiled heist at Ehizo’s request.
Narrating how he became involved in the attempted robbery, the 29-year-old said he met Ehizo at the customer care desk of the bank when he was having issues with his account.
He explained that after addressing his complaints, the bank official took his phone number and called him two days later, promising to give him a job.
Ewim stated, “After two days, I received a call from Ehizo, who identified himself and said he had a job for me. Two days later, he called back and said he would like to see me.
“He said he wanted to attack the bank branches in Mpape and Mararaba. I said I was not a robber. He asked if I could provide boys for him, so I told Obinna, a photographer, about it because I learnt that he was very stubborn and could fight.”