May 25, 2024

May 25, 2024

Oyo Amotekun Arrests Man Who Cons Hospital Patients

Personnel of Amotekun Corps in Oyo State rescued a 40-year-old suspected conman, Bukola Adewale, from an irate mob who descended on him after he attempted to flee with money belonging to patients at the Adeoyo Hospital, Yemetu, Ibadan.


The suspect, who was taken into custody by the Amotekun Corps, had reportedly approached an elderly man, Chief Wahab Aiki Aloko, and a woman, feigning sympathy for their health conditions, and volunteered to run errands for them so that they would not be stressed. That gave him two potential victims.


According to the Nigerian Tribune, Adewale had conned several patients in the past and escaped with their money, leaving the victims helpless in the hospitals.


This time, however, believing that no one knew him, Adewale returned and attempted to perpetrate another act.


He was said to have already taken the hospital card of the chief and was about to be given money by the woman who was with her sick child when he was noticed by a staff of the hospital.


The second-in-command of Amotekun Corps in Oyo command, Mr Kazeem Babalola Akinro, confirmed the incident in a statement.


“On Tuesday  April 16, we had a call from one of the senior officials of Adeoyo Hospital, Yemetu, that they apprehended a suspected criminal,” he said.


“Though the suspect initially denied committing an offence, immediately we started interrogating him, in addition to the evidences presented, he eventually confessed


“What we learnt was that he would approach very sick patients who came to the hospital for medical attention and volunteer to help such with the processes they would need to go through to see a doctor


“He would act as one of the hospital staff willing to help. He would collect their hospital cards and take them to the hospital pharmacy to know the cost of prescribed drugs and medical tests they would need to do.


“After that, he would go back to the weak patients and tell them of the costs. The patients, who would be relieved to have got help, would thank him profusely and hand over the money to him. However, that would be the last interaction with the patients as he would disappear with the money.


“That was what he was about to do on that day when he was sighted by a hospital staff who recognised his face and remembered what he did before he disappeared for a long time.

“During interrogation, he confessed that he collected N10,000 and N12,000 from two patients at the State Hospital, Adeoyo, Yemetu. He also confessed to collecting N40,000 from a patient at the State Hospital, Ring Road.


“He did it once in the University College Hospital (UCH) but was caught and taken to Yemetu police station. He was thereafter banned from entering the premises. He returned to the crime on that Tuesday but was caught.”


The chief, who is the leader of farmers in Ibadan North Local Government Area and the head of Baales in 11 Local Government Areas in Ibadan, spoke of how he almost became a victim.


“My leg got swollen and I was in great discomfort. I went to Adeoyo Hospital for medical examination and treatment.  I was told to go for laboratory test,” he explained.


“I went to obtain the results and was being led back to the place I would see a doctor by my grandchild when I met the suspect. He approached me and showed much sympathy, asking me to sit down so as not to cause more pains for mysel


“He asked me whether I had collected the results of the medical tests and I answered him in the affirmative. He told me to bring out my card so that he would get me another.  He also promised to help me get prescriptions.


“I thought he was helping me. I didn’t know that he was a conman. He also went to another patient to collect money from her. Only God saved me that he was noticed by one of the hospital staff. When the area boys heard about what he had been doing to patients, they descended on him. They found my card in his pocket.  I would have been conned even in my poor state of health.”


A senior worker in the hospital who craved anonymity confirmed what the elderly man said.


“About six months ago, we noticed that people like him were coming to the hospital randomly to con patients by pretending to offer them help. They were collecting money that the patients wanted to pay for laboratory tests,” the source said.


“The patients would start crying after realising that their money had been taken away and we would have to tell the section conducting the tests to do them without collecting any money again so that doctors would attend to them and they would leave the hospital joyfully.


“About 12:30 pm on that Tuesday, we started hearing the noise of ‘thief, thief!’ We saw him running towards the mortuary to escape through a gate there. Unfortunately for him, the gate was locked. That was how he was caught


“Some relatives of patients were saying that their family members once fell to his antics. Area boys started beating him so much and wanted to carry out jungle justice that we had to call Amotekun to come and rescue him so that he would not be lynched.


“The Amotekun personnel arrived, rescued and took him to their office for questioning. Before he was taken away, he claimed to be a patient who came to see a doctor.


“However, Chief Aloko’s card was found with him, and he was noticed when a woman who brought her child to the hospital was searching her bag for money to give him for the help he wanted to render, not knowing that he was a fraudster.


“The hospital worker who noticed him quickly notified our security men. They met him with the woman and asked him who he was. When it dawned on the woman that he meant to dupe her, she was so scared that she left the hospital with her child.”


In an interview, the suspect, who said he hailed from Ada in Osun State, said he regrets his action and


“I have been a very stubborn child since I was young that my parents could not handle me. I’m the first born, with three siblings. I had to live with my uncle who is the Shepherd in charge of a church. I was learning the vocation of battery charging and my uncle bought some tools for me but I didn’t complete the training when I left his house for Seme border,” he said.


“I spent about 18 months there, helping to carry smuggled bags of rice from the Benin Republic across the border into Nigeria. I left Seme when it became difficult to smuggle rice bags. I first stayed in Lagos before going to Idi Iroko border to see if rice smuggling would be easier there, but it was not. I came back to Ibadan but didn’t go to my uncle. I went to stay with my uncle’s church member in the Bashorun area


“I started conning patients at the University College Hospital  (UCH), Ibadan. What happened was that I met a man in the hospital premises. We discussed my joblessness and he said he used to get donors for those who needed blood. Then he taught me how to con patients by pretending to be of help. However, it boomeranged the first time I tried it.


“I went to someone who brought a patient to the Emergency Ward and offered to help. The person thanked me profusely and said that he needed to get some medications from a nearby pharmacy and also pay for laboratory tests. He appealed to me to buy the medications first and gave me N52,000 for the purchase of the drugs since he could not leave the patient. I went away with the money.


“Three days later, I came for another operation at the emergency ward but was noticed by the victim and apprehended. I was detained at the Yemetu Police Station. I was taken to my uncle to confirm our relationship. My uncle refunded the money and the UCH authorities profiled me in a video recording and warned me not to ever step into the premises again. I stopped going there


“I decided to go to Adeoyo Hospital, Yemetu, to get money from patients or their family members. I got N10,000 from one of the patients who wanted to carry out tests, and N12,000 from another one. I went away with N22,000.


“After about a month, I went to the State Hospital, Ring Road and collected N40,000 from a patient for laboratory tests.  I went away with the money also. I returned to Seme border to hustle but was not getting enough to survive on. That was when my thoughts went back to the money I was making by duping patients.


“I left Seme border early on Tuesday and got to Ibadan. I went straight to Adeoyo Hospital, Yemetu and approached the elderly patient, pretending to want to help. I collected his card and on my way, I saw a woman who wanted to conduct tests for her child. She was about to give me money when I was sighted by a hospital staff. It is true that I attempted to run away but was caught. It is also true that I claimed to have come to the hospital as a patient.”


When asked about his thoughts on the crime he committed, the suspect said:


“If God could save me from the trouble I put myself in, I will return to my uncle’s home and submit myself to good teachings. I don’t know why I chose bad behaviour. My three siblings, a male and two females, are all married but they are not close to me because of my way of life. My mother is dead and my father, a sawmill operator, is living in Ekiti State where he has his business. I’ve been a terrible child.”

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