An attempt by a gang of robbers that attacked the ATM of An Ecobank branch located in the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries’ Prayer City on the Magboro end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was foiled by the timely intervention of policemen.
The incident happened while the church was holding a vigil on Thursday, February 13th 2014.
It was learnt that the robbers, numbering eight, had entered the church premises from the bush, using a ladder.They also beat up the security guards, shooting one of them before proceeding to the Automated Teller Machine owned by Ecobank.
A policeman on the church premises reportedly alerted the Ibafo Police Division by phone.
A police source said, “Around 1.20am, we received a distress call that a gang of robbers had entered MFM Prayer City and was robbing a bank. We rushed down to the scene and when the robbers saw us, they fired at us and later fled.”
“We also responded minimally because a church service was ongoing and we did not want any stray bullet to hit anyone. The robbers used a ladder to climb to the other side of the fence and escaped through the bush
“Upon inspection of the bank, we observed that a part of the ATM had been melted with fire, but the robbers had not succeeded in removing any money. We recovered two gas cylinders, an iron cutter, a sledge hammer and screw drivers.”
Police investigation also revealed that the robbers had dropped their tools at the scene prior to the robbery.
“We learnt that the robbers did not come into the church through the main gate. They had dropped their tools at a spot prior to the robbery. So, when they were coming for the robbery at midnight, they only brought their guns. The ladder they even used was got from a nearby construction site.”
It was however learnt that the Assembly Pastor of the church, Pastor Erhabor, denied that there was any robbery on the premises.
“As far as I know, nothing happened. There is nothing that happened that is worth publishing,” he said.
The robbery incident was confirmed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Ogun State Command, Muyiwa Adejobi.
Adejobi said there was a reason to believe that the robbery was done through an insider’s collaboration.
He reportedly said, “There was a robbery at a bank at MFM Prayer City, one Inspector Austine Chukwurah led a team of policemen to the scene and foiled the robbery. One guard was shot and has been taken to the hospital.
“We have observed that ATM robberies usually occur shortly after banks load the machines with money. We have a reason to believe that the robbers acted based on a tip-off.”