Tragedy was averted on Tuesday as a security guard attached to a branch of First Bank Plc in Osogbo, Osun State discovered an explosive substance wrapped in a polythene bag inside the banking hall.
PUNCH Metro learnt that immediately the discovery was made, bank officials and customers were quickly evacuated from the bank.
Some customers of the bank told our correspondent that a senior official announced to them that a substance suspected to be a bomb had been discovered where it was planted.
Our correspondent gathered that officials of Police Anti-Bomb Squad were later deployed in the bank.
They were said to have detonated the bomb and cordoned off Station Road, where the bank is located.
It was learnt that as soon the information about the bomb spread, many shop owners in the area hurriedly closed their shops, while some left their wares and ran for safety.
Our correspondent, who visited the bank, reported that the banking hall was later reopened.
However, a few minutes later, the customers were asked to leave because the bank was not ready to resume operations.
Effort to speak with bank officials yielded no result. Members of the anti-bomb squad and regular policemen deployed in the bank also refused to speak with journalists on the incident.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, could not be reached as of press time, but a senior police official, who pleaded not to be named, told our correspondent that the command would soon issue a statement on the incident.
However, the state government in a statement expressed surprise at the development, saying it had taken various mesures to ensure security of lives and property.
The statement reads in part, added, “We are compelled to call on the security agencies to get to the root of this strange discovery in Osogbo and tell the whole world how this device found its way into a banking hall.”
The government observed that considering the “usually impregnable fortification of banks through their various screening machines which detect metals”, it was unthinkable that the device was not detected before finding its was into the banking hall.
“To be specific, we suspect a deliberate foul play in the antics of those who desire to create a sense of insecurity in this state,” the statement added.
The government assured residents of its readiness to ensure that “Osun remains a safe haven for businesses and pleasure.”