The saying that the love of money is the root of all evil seems to be true with the ordeal of a medical doctor, Tajudeen Dosunmu, who was recently arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Lagos State.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the 62-year-old had been practising medicine for over 30 years without a licence.
The suspect, who was paraded alongside four others, was accused of being part of a gang which specialises in breaking and robbing Automated Teller Machines.
It was learnt that during the gang’s last robbery in November 2013, three policemen were killed.
SARS men, led by Abba Kyari, were able to apprehend those behind the robbery in February after months of investigation.
Dosunmu, who spoke to our correspondent amid tears, blamed his foray into robbery on the devil.
The suspect said he was pushed into robbery by greed because he was very comfortable prior to his arrest.
“I have eight children from three different women. As a doctor, I made about N100, 000 a week. I specialised in paediatrics and I was a consultant for several hospitals. I was comfortable but greed pushed me into robbery,” he said.
When asked how he was able to practise medicine for so long without being caught, the suspect said he had a forged certificate from Obafemi Awolowo University.
He said, “I attended Obafemi Awolowo University, then University of Ife in the 70s. I had a problem so I could not finish my programme. I was already in my final year so I had basic knowledge of medicine.
“I approached some people in the university who helped me to get a certificate and attestation letter. With the documents, I started working at Ikeja General Hospital. I worked there for more than 10 years and I later specialised in paediatrics.
“No one ever suspected anything because I was good at my job. After leaving the government hospital, I set up a small clinic and later started consulting for other private hospitals and I was making good money.”
When asked what pushed him to join a robbery gang, the suspect said he was tricked into it by the robbers.
He said he never carried arms but only gave them his vehicle which they used in driving to crime scenes.
He said, “A youth that I know very well in the area approached me, pleading that I should lend him my car. When I asked him what he wanted to use the car for, he said he had some goods he wanted to bring in from Cotonou, so I lent him my car.
“Some days later, he returned the car to me and gave me N10,000. On another occasion, after I lent him my car, he told me to come to a filling station around Igando at 10pm to come and collect my car.
“When I got to the filling station, I saw him and about five others sharing a lot of money. It was then that I found out that they were armed robbers. They gave me only N10, 000 and I left.”
The suspect said when he discovered that they were robbers, he attempted to stop dealing with them but was scared that the robbers would turn against him since he knew their identities.
He said the robbers promised to increase his pay if he continued to cooperate with them.
He said he became interested when he realised that each robber made nothing less than N350,000 after each operation.
“I had to succumb to the saying that if you cannot beat them, join them. That was exactly what I did,” he said.
Narrating what happened during the last robbery that led to the killing of three policemen at Access Bank, Ayobo branch, the suspect said he was at the scene but did not participate in the shooting.
He said, “In November, the gang contacted me saying they would need the car. I was asked to drive the car near the bank in the evening so that they would use the car to escape. I drove there late in the afternoon because I don’t see very well at night.
“When the robbers arrived, three of them went into the bank with guns, three others hid in a bush with me. We were waiting for the ones inside the bank to give us a signal when suddenly, we started hearing serious gunshots.
“I jumped into my vehicle and sped off. It was later that I read in the newspapers that three policemen were killed during that operation. I swear to God, I did not kill anyone and I cannot kill.”
The suspect said he had let down his family by his behaviour and begged them to forgive him.
“I have a child in the United States and another one in Germany and they are successful. I hope they don’t get to read all this,” he said.
Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, identified other members of the gang as Daniel Onuoha also known as Find Money; a dismissed soldier, Sgt. Eyo Bassey, a welder, Tairu Kareem; a pastor, Isiah Willie; and one Confidence Saviour, also known as Confi.
Manko explained that Find Money and Bassey were killed during a shootout with the police.
Manko said, “On November 16, 2013, around 1am, a gang of robbers stormed Access Bank Plc, Ayobo branch in order to rob an ATM. Policemen from Ayobo Division led by ASP Longus Amuzie, responded to a distress call but they were ambushed by the robbers. Three policemen including Amuzie, were killed and their rifles stolen.
“On November 20, 2013, SARS commander, Abba Kyari, led a team of policemen to Ilasamaja where the robbers were accosted and a gun battle ensued. Two of the robbers were killed, their phones and guns were recovered.
“The operational base of the robbers was traced to a rented apartment at Ajibode Close, Iyana Ipaja where four AK47 rifles, 19 AK47 magazines fully loaded; police walkie talkie, 300 rounds of AK47 ammunition and eight G13 gas cylinders were recovered.”
Manko said on February 9, 2014, the house of one of the deceased robbers was searched where another seven AK47 rifles, two K2 rifles and one pump action rifle concealed in a plastic drum in the kitchen were recovered.
The CP said the suspects would soon be charged to court.
Credit: Punch NG