A policeman, who has been described by many Nigerians as a hero after a viral video showed him gunning down one of the four armed robbers who attacked a bank in Imo State in February 2017, died two months after the incident, it was learnt.
He is Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko.
The three-minute video, apparently a CCTV footage from the bank, has been circulated on news sites and blogs in the last few days, quickly becoming one of the most talked about events of the past week in Nigeria.
It shows a car entering the bank premises, only to be followed by a black Hyundai Elantra, some seconds later. Four men emerged from the vehicle, with three holding weapons, which looked like AK47 rifles.
The video shows the first person out of the vehicle releasing a shot which caused many people at the entrance of the bank, including the uniformed security man, who opened the gate to flee.
But the robbers were swiftly engaged in a gun battle. Shots rang out from the security post at the bank’s entrance, shattering the car windows. An occupant of the car shot back. But one of the robbers, who had tried to attack the occupant of the security post, was instantly shot dead.
The video shows Iboko who shot him escaping from security post, while one of the other robbers pursued and shot after him. The Imo State Police Command said that owing to the multiple gunshot injuries sustained by Iboko, he succumbed to his injuries two months later while in intensive care.
Spokesperson for the command, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, explained that two other policemen were in the security post during the shootout and also sustained gunshot injuries.
“They were in intensive care for up to two months. The two survived but Iboko died. He was a sergeant and mobile policeman,” Enwerem said.
Prodded for more details, Enwerem said he did not have information about the deceased policeman’s age or his hometown.
Since the video became viral, there have been calls to reveal the fate of the cop as Nigerians demanded more recognition and honour for the deceased policeman.
On Twitter, many said such heroes must be celebrated.
“Can you find out who that gallant officer was so we can get to celebrate him?”@Omoboy tweeted, while Ruke Emu-V Igwe replied with “The guy is a real hero.”
Some Nigerians offered to help his family as a reward for his gallantry.
“I hope the injured mobile policeman is well attended to and compensated. Is there a way we can reach him and his family to send little help?”Olusegun Iselaiye tweeted.
Deo Ese also tweeted a similar thought, saying “We will like to know if the MOPOL is alive or dead, we want to start a GoFundMe for him or his family.”
However, security experts have some thoughts on the security arrangement in the nation’s bank.
One of such experts, Mr. Richard Amuwa, who runs Security 24/7, a radio security education programme, said that the video showed that many uniformed security men in Nigeria especially those in banks are mere gatemen.
He said,“When you have a closed gate and see four men inside a car, it should raise alarm bells and see if they are there for business or for something else.
“When you go to many banks you will realise that the security men around are not alert. What that video has shown us is that there is need to reassess security arrangements in banks.”