The driver of a bullion van which was attacked by armed bandits in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, on July 29, has finally narrated how the attack happened and how he managed to safely escape the ambush with the money intact.
The driver, who did not want his name in print for security reasons, was conveying large sums of money to a bank in Abakaliki when armed bandits struck, killing four police escorts in the process.
According the driver, the journey was smooth until the convoy arrived at an uncompleted flyover in Ezammgbo junction in Ebonyi State, where they were under heavy gun fire from the bandits.
‘The bandits were stationed at the point where a flyover is currently being erected by the Ebonyi State Government. Due to the work going on, only one portion of the road was being used. The road is also bad at that point such that all vehicles are forced to slow down, ‘the driver explained.
‘The next thing we saw following the gun shots was the bodies of the police escorts in the police van that was leading the convoy dropping one after another on the road.
‘My colleague urged me to be careful not to run over any of them in case any of them was still alive. I did exactly as he suggested and manoeuvred the bullion van through the bodies on the road.
‘One of them shot at the van at close range but the bulletproof windscreen didn’t give in. So, they started shooting at the tyres.
‘Luckily, they missed the front tyres but got one of the back ones which deflated instantly. I had no choice but to continue without one tyre and was moving at 60 km per hour.
‘I didn’t allow any vehicle to overtake me until I got to Abakaliki. A Lexus Jeep tried severally to overtake me, but I kept blocking the vehicle. We met three police checkpoints afterwards and I alerted them, but none of them agreed to my request for an escort to Abakaliki.
‘They rather advised I parked at the checkpoint that I was safe, but I ignored them till l got to our destination. My brother, it was like a journey to hell. We met death face-to-face, but God delivered us,’ the brave driver said.
‘Having gunned down those in the lead police van, they started shooting at the back up van at the rear. At the same time, they tried to demobilize the bullion van, but I refused to stop. It was the Lord’s doing and we give thanks to Him.’
Seven of the armed robbers who carried out the attack, including two dismissed soldiers, have been arrested and are currently assisting the police in unmasking other suspects.