According to victims and eyewitnesses, the incident happened during the end-of-the-month prayer and vigil services of the churches. It was also alleged that while the robbery was ongoing, some church members managed to call the control room of the Ondo State Police Command, but there was no response from the command.
An eyewitness who claimed that about 5 churches were robbed before the hoodlums got to their church, alleged that the robbers were armed with guns, machetes, iron rods and sticks, adding that they
beat some ‘uncooperative’ victims.
Some of the injured victims, according to her, are still receiving treatment in private hospitals in the town.
“After finishing our vigil at about 3am on Saturday, all of us were going home when some armed men met us on the road. They told us they were members of a vigilance group in the area and they asked us to go back to the church.
“They followed us to the church. On entering the church with us, they locked the door from inside. One of them brought out a pistol and asked us to lie down and face the ground. They collected everything on us, including our phones and money.
“As we lay face down, we heard them sharing the money they had stolen from other churches they had earlier robbed. From their conversation, we discovered that they must have attacked no fewer than four churches before ours.”
It was gathered that as soon as the robbers were alerted that the police were on their way, they removed their victims’ simcards and dropped them on the chairs, before fleeing through the windows.
Punch reports that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad arrived the area about 15 minutes after the bandits left. Though no arrest has been made, however, a gun and a mobile telephone dropped by the robbers at the scene of the incident, was recovered.
Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer of the state’s police command, Mr. Femi disclosed that the command had commenced investigation.