Ovie Okpare, Warri
Suspected armed robbers on Monday killed a driver to a popular Ijaw musician, Soja Smooth, popularly known as Barrister Smooth; and stole over N5m the victim had gone to a bank to withdraw for his boss.
The victim, Nkem Chidobe, was alleged to have been sent to a new generation bank operating along the Warri/Effurun road where he withdrew the said money, reportedly meant to pay the workers of Smu-Tuns House, a company belonging to Smooth.
Sources told our correspondent that the gunmen who trailed the late victim from the bank where he had collected the money opened fire on the driver from behind as he was approaching his destination. He died on the spot.
The incident occurred along Mabiaku Road in Warri South council area of Delta State, as the robbers’ multiple bullets hit the driver on the chest, forcing the Mercedes Benz E-Class he was driving to somersault several times against a church fence along the road.
The hoodlums were said to have alighted from their car, picked the money alleged to have been kept in a “Ghana-must-go” bag and drove off.
According to one of the sources, “The armed robbers who had been trailing the late driver opened fire and a bullet hit the car tyre, while another bullet hit the driver on the chest. He died on the spot.”
A colleague of the late driver who had accompanied him to the bank escaped narrowly cheated, as the gunmen also fired at him but he jumped over the church fence.
A member of the church who witnessed the incident told our correspondent that the robbers were four in number, including a driver. He said that all of them were armed.
The corpse of the victim was said to have been deposited at the morgue of the Warri Central Hospital, which is not far from the scene of the attack.
A senior Police officer at the Warri Area Command confirmed the incident to our correspondent, but he pleaded for anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak with the press.
The Police source disclosed that the robbers’ leader is an ex-convict that has just been released from prison.
The Delta State Police Commissioner, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, confirmed the incident when contacted on Monday.
Ibrahim said his men were already trailing the fleeing suspects and assured that the suspects and their accomplices would soon be arrested.
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Ovie Okpare, Warri