Gunmen steal N100m from finance ministry

File: Gunmen:

Richard Elesho

A daring scene of armed robbery attack on Tuesday depleted further Nasarawa State government’s lean resources.

Like a Nollywood scene, gunmen in broad day light invaded the premises of the State Ministry of Finance in Lafia, releasing shots into the air. At the end of the operation, N100 million had vanished from the ministry.

It was gathered the money which was freshly withdrawn from a bank was meant for the payment of some outstanding bills to casual workers of the ministry.

The incident took place, not far from the state Accountant General’s Office, where an array of security operatives on guard did not raise an eyebrow.

An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, told Daily Independent that the suspected armed robbers trailed officials of the state Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning from a first generation bank in Lafia, the state capital.

The eyewitness said, “It was in the Ministry’s premises that the well-armed gunmen snatched the N100 million from the Finance Ministry’s officials while trying to dislodge the cash from the vehicle that was conveying it to the Cash Room.

“In the process of snatching the amount of money, the gunmen shot sporadically in the air that the Ministry’s officials carrying the money and other staff of the Ministry within the premises lay down low paving the way for the gunmen to snatch the N100 million,” the eyewitness narrated.

The eyewitness also claimed that the robbery was successful without any hitches because the Ministry does not engage the services of security agencies in carrying out its activities.

In a telephone interview, the State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Planning, Haruna Ogbole, confirmed the robbery incident but added that investigations were ongoing to apprehend the culprits.