The development caused panic in the area as residents fled for their lives while shop owners locked up their shops, resulting in a gridlock along the Amarata-Onopa axis of the Mbiama-Yenagoa Road for several hours.
It was gathered that the businessmen, Mohammed Garuba and his brother, Abubakar, were attacked by the robbers at about 11a.m. near one of the commercial banks in the area.
The businessmen were driving in their Lexus SUV when few meters away from the bank, the dare-devil armed robbers, blocked them with a Toyota Corolla car they were operating with and collected the N3.5 million at gunpoint.
Mohammed said at the scene that the criminals had parked their car in front of a supermarket where they apparently waited for them.
He said three of the gang members with AK-47 rifles, menacingly approached his passenger side of the SUV and broke the window glass, asking him to give them the money or they would shoot.
The distraught Mohammed, whose clothes were stained with blood, said: “Just as we came out of the bank, they (the armed robbers) blocked us.
They are four in number with a driver. Three of them carried AK-47 guns.
“They shot me but their bullet did not enter my body; then they slapped me in the face and went to my brother’s side who was driving and shot him in his right thigh.
He said I should give them the money and I gave them the money and they sped off. My brother has been taken to hospital.”
The driver’s seat where the hoodlums shot Abubakar was reportedly stained with his blood while Mohammed’s side had broken glasses on the seat and on the ground, with patches of blood.
When asked what they wanted to do with the stolen money, Mohammed said it was for a business transaction with their business partner, who insisted on receiving payment in cash rather than through bank’s transfer.
He also said he suspected that there was an informant in the bank who was in touch with the robbers, adding that he and his wounded brother spent about two hours in the bank.
Mohammed said that he and Abubakar did not park their Jeep in front of the bank like other customers, but in the bank’s premises after they were allowed in through the special gate for bullion vans and high-profile customers.