Five suspected armed robbers, who disguised as patients, have attacked a private hospital in the Shibiri, Ajangbadi area of Lagos State, carting away valuables.
PUNCH Metro learnt that while three of the robbers escaped, two suspects – Babatunde Bamidele and Idowu Balogun – were apprehended and taken to the Ajangbadi Police Division.
Our correspondent gathered that the incident occurred on Tuesday around 10pm.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who did not disclose the name of the hospital (to protect it from reprisals), confirmed the incident, saying efforts were on to apprehend the fleeing gang members.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the five robbers had posed as patients and requested to see the doctor.
It was said that 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, feigning to be patients who needed medical attention.
It was learnt that the three, however, robbed the doctor of money and phones, which they passed to the duo at the gate.
Our correspondent learnt that while the robbery went on, a distress call was put across by a patient to the police, and the operatives stormed the scene.
The two men at the gate were said to have been arrested, while the others fled the hospital.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, 32-year-old Bamidele, who hails from the Lagos Island, said it was Ahmed who invited him “for the job”, adding that he was given the doctor’s phones to keep during the operation.
He denied that he entered the hospital as a patient.
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.”
The second suspect, 29-year-old Balogun, who hails from Ajase, Kwara State, said, “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 CP, Owoseni, said the suspects would be charged to court after investigations were concluded.
He said, “The gang is 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 ongoing 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.”
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