A graduate armed robber who used to be a teacher has met his sad end in Calabar after he and members of his gang engaged the police from Uwanse Division in Calabar South in a gun battle.
The four-man robbery gang had on Monday evening stormed a sport betting shop, an NBL distributor at 4, Mt Zion Road as well as a Micro Finance Bank at the same location before the police, acting on a tip off, engaged the gang in a gun fight along Goldie-Mt Zion Road.
During the battle one of the gang members who was teacher and whose name was not was not disclosed, was killed on the spot, while one was seriously injured and the driver of the vehicle they were using escaped.
Two locally made pistols, phones, laptops and cash were recovered from the gang which has been terrorizing the area since the beginning of this year.
According to an eyewitness, Mr. Ephraim Chigozie, three members of the gang entered NBL premises and at first he thought they wanted to buy drinks but he suspected something was fishy because the three of them wore fez caps.
“I was waiting for my driver to come back. When he did, I was dashing out to get the keys from him to also go out before I saw three guys walk into our premises. At first I thought they were customers coming to buy drinks because we sell beer wholesale but I became a bit suspicious because the three of them were wearing fez caps.
“Before I knew it, they held one of my boys. I did not know that the leader was pointing a pistol to his waist, so when I walked towards my car, they ordered me back into the store and asked me to lie flat on the floor. After they had dispossessed us of our valuables, they went into the Micro-Finance Bank in the same premises.
“Unfortunately for them, the bank usually has serious activities because it gives loan to market women on Mondays. So when they entered, the crowd was too much, they ordered everyone to lie down but the women started screaming and they had to leave immediately because some people also alerted the police,” he narrated.
A woman who pleaded anonymity disclosed that she knew the deceased robber because he taught in her daughter's school in the area.
“I knew the deceased suspect very well. He taught in different schools before coming to my daughter's school in this neighbourhood. I am surprised that he was an armed robber, because they told me he left the school just a few weeks ago because of salary issues.
“He was a graduate and I just don't understand why he went into armed robbery. Just look at how he destroyed himself in the name of looking for quick money. They have been robbing the people here day and night without fear but he has finally met his waterloo,” she said.
Speaking on the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state,
Irene Ugbo said the gang was ambushed by men of Uwanse Police Division during their operation on Monday after they had escaped from the scene of robbery after the police got a distress call from people in the area.
“Our men killed one of them during a gun duel because they opened fire, one was injured while two others are still at large. Investigation is ongoing, we also recovered cash, two locally made pistols, laptops and phone. We will surely get to the root of the matter,” she said.