The widows of the two policemen shot dead by armed robbers at the Owerri branch of Zenith Bank Plc on Thursday have lauded the bank for rescuing them from hopelessness.
The robbers had trailed a customer who wanted to deposit a huge sum of money to the bank’s premises on February 22, 2017.
However, the incident became public knowledge early this month when footage of it surfaced on the internet, capturing how the dare-devil robbers attacked the bank’s premises on Wetheral Road, opposite Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, Imo State.
Five people, including the customer, two policemen attached to the bank, one security guard and one of the bandits died during the attack.
The slain policemen were identified as Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko and Sunday Agbo.
The video, which gained traction on the social media, revealed how Iboko engaged the robbers in a gun duel during which he shot one of the bandits identified as Ikechukwu Opara dead.
Iboko and Agbo later died from gunshot injuries sustained from the attack while another policeman identified as Attah lost one of his eyes to the attack.
The robbery suspects were later apprehended by police operatives while four Toyota cars, assorted ammunition and rifles were recovered from them.
It emerged that the bank had reached out to the widows of the slain policemen and commiserated with their families over the unfortunate incident.
It was learnt that the bank in April paid the two women the sum of N1.2 million each for their upkeep while they also got the sum of N300, 000 each as burial expenses.
The bank also awarded scholarships to the children of the deceased policemen, pledged additional sum of N60, 000 monthly allowance. The allowance for the month of May has bèen paid to the widows.
The intervention by the bank well before the CCTV recording of the robbery went viral early this month was not made public.
In a telephone conversation with The Nation, Iboko’s widow, Rose, thanked the management of Zenith Bank for coming to their rescue in time.
“I want to thank Zenith Bank for coming to our aid. In April, the bank paid the sum of N1.5 million as financial assistance to cover the burial expenses and upkeep.
“The bank also paid me the sum of N60, 000 as allowance in May with a promise to sustain the payment on a monthly basis, and they gave us a letter to back their promises.
“However, the one that gladdens my heart the most is the scholarship they have given to my seven children. My eldest child is just 15 and he is in SS 2 in a college.”
Also speaking with our correspondent on the telephone, Agbo’s widow, Blessing, commended the bank’s gesture, saying,
“The bank (Zenith) has been very caring to us. I am thanking the bank for the kind gesture extended to us so far.
“The bank called me and the other policeman’s widow (Rose) and offered our children scholarships.
“Apart from that, they gave us N300,000 each for burial expenses and a sum of N1.5 million each for our upkeep.
“We also received the sum of N60,000 allowance each in May, which the bank has promised to give us every month.
“I believe that they will do as they have promise, because there is a letter to that effect.