When a man is bent on achieving a thing, whether good or bad, he can go to unimaginable extents! This is the case of five suspected armed hospital robbers who transformed themselves to look like patients, in order to attack a private hospital in the Shibiri, Ajangbadi area of Lagos State, were they succeeded to an extent and carted away valuables.
According to Punch, the incident which occurred on Tuesday around 10 pm, ended with three of the hospital robbers escaping, while two suspects – Babatunde Bamidele and Idowu Balogun – were arrested and taken to the Ajangbadi Police Division.
Two of the robbers, Bamidele and Balogun, stayed at the hospital’s gates while one Yusuf and Ahmed, said to be among those at large, entered the doctor’s office, pretending to be patients in need of medical attention. The three, nevertheless, robbed the doctor of money and phones, which they passed on to the two at the gate.
Trouble started for the squad when during the robbery, a patient called the police, and the operatives stormed the scene, arresting the two men at the gate while the others ran away from the hospital.
Speaking with Punch correspondent, Bamidele, 32, who is a native of Lagos Island, denied reports claiming that all five of them entered the hospital as patient and revealed it was Ahmed who invited him “for the job”, adding that he was given the doctor’s phones to keep during the operation. He said:
“I do car battery charging and rewiring on the Lagos Island. My father is a chief on the Lagos Island area. There is a cut on my stomach. I sustained it when I fell off from a motorcycle three weeks ago. That was the cut the policemen saw and said I came to the hospital as a patient.
“It was a friend, Ahmed, who invited me for this job on Tuesday. I was at a drinking joint when he came and persuaded me to join them.
“Ahmed is a pickpocket, I will not lie. We don’t have any gun. He had asked me to wait at the hospital gate that evening. The other suspect and I were at the gate. We did not see the doctor who was robbed.
“When the policemen came, they whisked me and the man away in a van, but Ahmed and others escaped. I did not know whether they disguised as patients inside the doctor’s office or not. I was not given any money.”
29-year old Balogun, who is among the suspected hospital robbers, hails from Ajase, Kwara State. According to him;
“I did not know Tunde (Bamidele) before Tuesday. He and I were stationed at the hospital gate. It was Yusuf who invited me to come to the hospital to rob. What I usually do is ‘sit and fire’. That means, I steal money from people’s pockets inside commercial buses. They said they had a job to do and they took me along. That was the first time I would go to that hospital. I was going to run away when the police arrested me.”
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP, Fatai Owoseni, confirmed the incident, stating that efforts were already being made to arrest the members of the gang who are at large. He however refused to disclose the name of the attacked hospital in order to protect it from any reprisal attack.
Mr. Owoseni, said the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded. Hear him:
“The gang of hospital robbers are based in the Ajangbadi area. They pretend to be patients and they attack hospitals. One of them held his stomach when they came into that hospital, and when they were asked to come in, they began to rob the patients. Investigation is on-going on their matter.
“A similar group pretends to be motorcycle passengers and when the rider picks them, they spray him some substance, and he becomes unconscious. They then steal the motorcycles. Some of them have been arrested as well.”