House of Reps Condemn Killing of DPO, Others in Otukpo Bank Robbery, Seek Investigation
The House of Representatives on Tuesday condemned and sought for thorough investigation into the Otukpo Banks rubbery leading to killing of Divisional Police Officer (DPO), three female officers and other people.
The House resolution was sequel to the motion of urgent public importance by Hon. Blessing Onyeche Onuh, representing Otukpo Ohimini Federal Constituency of Benue State.
Presenting the motion, Hon. Onuh noted that on Friday 20th October, 2023 at about 3pm , Otukpo, a relatively peaceful town on Benue State was invaded by heavily armed gunmen numbering over twenty.
She said the gunmen held the community under siege for over two hours, wrecked havoc using rocket launcher, dynamics, AK-47 rifles and other sophisticated weapons.
According to the daughter of former Senate President, David Mark “the gunmen first attacked the vigilante group. They thereafter proceeded to the Otukpo Police Station, killing the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and three other female police officers.”
“While the attack on the police station was ongoing, other members of the gang were busy attacking four commercial banks simultaneously, killing and carting away huge sum of money.
“The banks attacked were Stanbic IBTC, Zenith, UBA and First Bank. Several persons were killed in the bank premises and many others sustained gunshot injuries.
“Concerned that residents of Otukpo Community are currently feeling traumatized by last Friday’s incident and greatly feeling unsafe.
“The Security architecture of Otukpo Community, particularly the police and vigilante are badly demoralized.
“The commercial and business activities are currently halted in Otukpo and Benue South as a whole. Banks and other commercial institutions have completely shut down operations’, Hon. Blessing Onuh said.
Contributing to the Motion, Hon. Philip Agbese, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Publicity said since he was born he has not seen this type of attack in the area.
Agbese said the security agencies should rise up to these challenges so that the country will not move from frying pan to fire in terms of security.
Hon. Ahmed Jaha, representing Chibok/Gwoza Federal Constituency of Borno State noted that what happened in Otukpo was terrorist attack. “What happened in Otukpo can happen any where in the country. Today if there is relief in the North East, it will be North Central that will be the target”, he said.
The Deputy House Leader, Hon. Abubakar Halims noted that similar attacks had taken place in Ankpa, Omala and other local government areas in Kogi State. According to him, the attacks in these places made the banks to shutdown operations in the affected areas.
Following the motion, the House observed a minute silence in honour of those killed.
The House urged Nigerian Police, Department of State Service and other security agencies as a matter of urgency make effort to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of this heinous act.
The House called for an increase of security architecture within Otukpo town and its environs to prevent recurrence.
The House of Representatives Speaker, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, PhD referred the motion to Committee on National Security, Police and Army for further legislative actions.