Fact-check: Did armed robbers raid UBA in Ankpa?
By Daniel Adaji
Armed robbers attacked banks in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State onTuesday September 6, 2022. This attack was the second most gruesome in 10 years and it left at least two persons dead, several others wounded and a Police Station shattered.
Claim: Several media organisations reported that three bank branches: United Bank for Africa (UBA), First Bank of Nigeria Plc. (FBN) and Zenith Bank Plc. was involved in the attack.
For instance, Nigeria Tribune reported that the Police confirmed armed robbers attacked three banks in Ankpa.
Daily Trust reported that the gunmen first attacked UBA before proceeding to the other banks. “Armed robbers invaded branches of UBA, Zenith and First Bank in Ankpa, Kogi State, on Wednesday, and carted away unspecified sum of money.”
This Day also reported that three banks were attacked and that at least five persons dead.
Daily Post on Wednesday 7 September, 2022 reported that “gunmen suspected to be armed robbers on Tuesday invaded three commercial banks in Ankpa, Kogi State.”
Further, The Nation Newspaper in a publication on 8 September, 2022 reported that “the police yesterday confirmed that armed robbers attacked three commercial banks in Ankpa, Kogi State.
The Nigeria Police have been reported by several media houses to have confirmed the incidence. But the number of banks robbed as confirmed by the Police is still in question.
Factcheck1: An eye witness told The Insight that only First Bank of Nigeria Plc and Zenith Bank Plc were robbed.
Also, a statement signed by Abdullahi Ismail Musa the Head of Media to Ankpa
Local Government Chairman, Hon. (Alh.) Abagwu Ibrahim mentioned that only Zenith Bank Plc and First Bank of Nigeria Plc were robbed. The chairman is the political head of the local government, and his office in located in Ankpa, where the crime was committed.
The chairman’s statement said “The Executive Chairman of Ankpa L.G.A has condemned the ungodly armed robbery attack on First Bank, Zenith Bank and Divisional Police Station, Ankpa which occurred about 4pm on Tuesday 6th September, 2022.”
The Chairman expressed that the prevailing peaceful atmosphere in the Local Government was due to zero tolerance for crime by this administration and the commitment of the state government to combating crime.
Also, the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Lokoja, reported on Wednesday September 7, 2022 that “armed robbers, on Tuesday evening, attacked Ankpa Divisional Police Station and two banks, leaving about three persons dead.”
The two banks here referred to First Bank and Zenith Bank.
This is contrary to the reports that three banks were involved in the raid. Therefore, only two banks were robbed on the said day.
Furthermore, according to a staff of UBA, whose name could not be mentioned in this report, the bank was closed at the time of the robbery operation. Hence the bank could not have been robbed.
Verdict: UBA was not one of the banks robbed in the criminal attacks on bank in Ankpa on September 6, 2022. Most of the reports by media organizations on the robbery wee based on hearsays.
An eye witnessed, told The Insight that the armed robbers stormed Ankpa at about 1pm on that fateful day and sustained the robbery operation for about two hours. Attempts to repel the gunmen by security operatives, proved abortive as the gunmen had superior weapons.
Several social media users reacted to the incidence and lamented the porous security situation in Kogi State, at this time.