The police in Katsina State said on Thursday said it has begun investigating the alleged robbery of N61 million from Aminu Darma, a cashier at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the State.
Gunmen allegedly attacked Mr Darma, who was travelling with three bags filled with N61 million cash, shot him in the arm and stole the money.
The alleged robbery
Mr Darma’s friend and a former special assistant to the Katsina State governor on new media, Maiwada Danmalam, told PREMIUM TIMES Mr Darma was attacked by the gunmen after their attempt to stop his vehicle failed.
The gunmen followed him from the bank, but he didn’t stop when they tried to stop his car around the Katsina Steel Rolling Company roundabout. He instead decided to return to the city area but they (the gunmen) continued chasing his car. In the end, he lost control of the car and hit an object which forced him to stop,” he said.
An eye witness, Aliyu Shehu, said Mr Darma’s vehicle, a Toyota Corolla, hit another vehicle a Hilux van, which made it veer off the road.
“I was standing by the other side when he hit that Hilux and we thought he was a bit careless because he was overspeeding until when the car, a Toyota Camry, chasing him stopped and the gunmen started shooting into the air,” he said.
Mr Shehu said there were three gunmen.
“They came out of their vehicle, opened the other vehicle and took away three sacks of money before they went and shot him in the arm.”
PREMIUM TIMES visited Mr Darma at the Umaru Musa Yar’adu’a University Teaching Hospital where his wound is being treated but was not allowed to see him.
The story sounds suspicious – Police
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Kaduna State Police Command, Gambo Isa, told PREMIUM TIMES via the telephone that the command was investigating the circumstances around the attack.
Mr Isa said the command is tired of receiving “cook and bull” stories involving financial officers from the Secretary to the Government of the State office.
The police spokesperson said a colleague of Mr Darma was involved in a similar case. He said the official withdrew money and left it in the trunk of his vehicle only to report the money has been stolen.
He said the stories coming from the same office were too similar not to raise suspicion.
Mr Isa wondered how an armed robbery attack involving an AK-47 would leave the victim with only “bruises”
“Yes is true. But we are investigating the surrounding circumstance of the alleged attack. It baffled the command for a state government staff to carry such a huge sum of amount without police escort.
He also suggested that contrary to the story that the robbers shot Mr Darma was shot in his arm, he only sustained minor bruises.
“Also the modus operandi was very suspicious. An attack with AK 47 by real armed robbers may lead to fatal injury and not mere bruises. We are also investigating why the personnel went alone to pick up the money without any supporting staff and only to be robbed by two gunmen in an ash-coloured Camry.
“He was alleged to have single-handedly withdrawn the sum of sixty-one million naira from the bank. There is a conspiracy theory we are investigating here,” he said