VITALCARE Hospital became a shadow of itself in three days. The health centre which was arguably one of the thriving private hospitals serving people in the suburbs of Abuja, became a ghost of its self soon after its founder and medical director, Dr. Ola Solomon Jimade, was declared wanted for alleged armed robbery.
On Tuesday, police declared Jimade, a medical doctor, wanted over alleged involvement in armed robbery.
According to the police, Dr. Jimade who hails from Ife-Olukotun in Kogi State, is the leader of a dangerous gang that has robbed numerous citizens and snatched vehicles at gunpoint in Abuja.
The police said four pistols with eight rounds of live ammunition and a face mask, which was carefully hidden in a bag in the office of the doctor were recovered during execution of a search warrant in the suspect’s hospital.
The Nation gathered that patients and workers had fled from the hospital even before stern-looking policemen arrived to seek information from residents of the Kubwa Phase 3 neighbourhood, where the hospital is located.
When The Nation visited the hospital around 10:30am on Friday, some of the residents wore a quizzical look that betrayed anxiety and suspicion over ongoing police investigations of the suspect’s activities.
The hospital’s white gate was left ajar, after the its staff reportedly took to their heels for fear of being implicated in their director’s scandal.
When our correspondent made her way into the reception building which also houses the observation room, laboratory and pharmacy, it looked like a place that had just been raided or deserted in a hurry. There was no activity there neither was there any member of staff in the once busy hospital that supposedly offered paediatric, trauma, gynecology, optical, dental and emergency medical services.
The hospital’s number, 08091280370, found to be registered in Dr. Ola Jimade’s name, remained switched off.
When The Nation contacted the President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Mike Ogirima, for information about the suspect, he said: “We are still trying to confirm if he is one of us and when we do, we will take holistic measures. If he is found culpable, he would be rusticated from the association and that means that he won’t be able to practice again; if he is found wanting, he would be delisted.
“When we confirm that he is one of us, there is a tribunal: The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) which is the equivalent of a High Court. He would be tried by the Council and also tried in the other court which will make it a multiple trial.”
In an exclusive chat with the spokesman, FCT Police Command, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, he said: “We are still investigating the matter and we are reaching out to necessary authorities to help track him down.”
He also said some victims of the gang have been coming to the Command to talk about their traumatic experiences.