Armed robbery activities across various areas in Benin City on Thursday assumed its peak as 13 occupants, both staff and guests of a hotel which shares a fence with the official residence of some officers in the 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army were robbed, leaving the Manager of the hotel critically injured but receiving treatment in a private hospital.
Residents have been apparently left at the mercy of robbers across the state capital with daily accounts of violent robberies as the police are yet to return to the streets since the violent dimension the #EndSARS assumed in the state.
Cell phone and money snatching and other robbery activities have been recorded regularly in recent time in Benin, but the robbers seem to have shifted their target to hotels, guest houses, and business centres.
Narrating his experience, a victim of the robbery who was a guest in the hotel said the robbers had a free day as they moved from room to room, tied their victims and carted away both food and drinks.
“The incident happened about 3 am on Wednesday. They spent over one hour moving from one room to the other.
“They came in around 3 am immediately after the public light went off. They first pounced on the security man who was going to put on the generator, they tied him hand and legs and then went to the reception where they took the accountant who they forced to lead them to each of the rooms and ransacked and took everything from us; our phones, money and other things.
“They were six in number and four of them carried guns while the others carried machetes which they used on the ear and head of the manager of the hotel.
“The robbers also went away with all the cooked food in the kitchen, carried all the drinks in freezers leaving only water and soft drinks.
“They tied everybody hand and leg and also had the luxury of drinking some of the beer and then loaded the remaining ones and the food into an SUV van owned by a guest and then went away with the vehicle.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor said they would soon be back on the streets to curb all sorts of robbery.
He said: “The Inspector-General of Police visited us yesterday (Wednesday) and he has energised the men, and apart from the IG, the governor, His Excellency Governor Godwin Obaseki, the governor of Edo state has equally energised the men so very soon you will see that action will start.”