Armed robbers on Sunday invaded the Vine Branch Church, Queen Elizabeth road, Ibadan, killing two policemen in a failed bid to steal the church’s offering and tithe’.
It was gathered that the robbers had laid ambush in the Church, only to swoop on the officers of a second generation bank who usually come to pick the offering and tithe immediately he stepped into the church.
On sensing that the bank officers had not taken possession of the ‘goodies’, the robbers shot in the air and caused panic among members and in the process, shot dead two police officers who were ‘cooling their nerves’ in the van.
Eyewitness said that an attempt by one of the robbers to shoot the driver, who was in mufti, was saved by another colleague who reportedly argued that the driver was not a police officer.
Some members of the church who sustained injuries during the stampede were said to be receiving treatment in an undisclosed nearby hospital.
When the robbers also got wind that their actions could be monitored from the projector hung in the church auditorium and the monitor room, they attempted to cut all monitoring networks around the church but their efforts unsuccessful.
Sources said that one of the robbers who sustained gun wound was however taken away by the bandits who fled immediately the police got to the scene.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Oyo State Police Command, DSP Olabisi Ilobanafor who confirmed the incident, said “the command lost two officers gallantly in the unfortunate incident.”
She said the officers died during the exchange of fire with the robbers, adding that one of the robbers was shot and was carried away by his colleagues.