Three suspects have been arrested by the Nigerian Police Force, through its Lagos, Abuja, and Plateau State Commands for allegedly staging their kidnapping.
This development was confirmed by the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement posted on a verified police X.
Adejobi disclosed that the suspects, including a couple in Lagos, staged their kidnapping to extort money from their family members with the intention to obtain a N5m ransom from relatives.
According to the police spokesperson, Albarka Sukuya in Plateau State was arrested for staging his kidnapping on several occasions, and one Nnamdi Agu also staged his kidnapping in Abuja in an attempt to defraud his family.
The statement partly read, “In Lagos, a couple was arrested for an alleged self-kidnapping scheme aimed at obtaining a N5 million ransom recently.
“The husband, Doubara David Yabrifa, a 53-year-old technician, and the wife, Regina Yabrifa, a 48-year-old body massager and bone setter, were apprehended after a family member reported the purported kidnapping.
“The couple confessed to planning the self-kidnap to raise N3m to purchase a property in Badagry, Lagos. The husband justified the act, citing financial difficulties and a lack of support from relatives. Both were arrested, and they were subsequently charged in court.
“Also, one Albarka Sukuya of Jenta Apata, Jos, has been notorious for staging his kidnapping on several occasions and has received ransoms from unsuspecting members of the community in Plateau State.
“Similarly, on January 20, 2024, a young man, Nnamdi Agu, faked his kidnapping in Abuja in an attempt to defraud one of his family members who resides around River Park Estate, Abuja, to make money to pay for his pleasures.
“The police, in a swift response, foiled the staged kidnapping and arrested the suspect. The suspect and many others leverage the prevailing instances of kidnapping and plan to engage in such criminal and deceptive acts of staged or self-kidnapping to make money.
He, however, warned that others who might be intending to follow a similar trend to desist from doing so, saying that there will be dire consequences for such an act while also advising bloggers and other media to authenticate the genuineness of a kidnapping story before reporting it to prevent public panic.
Adejobi said, “The Nigeria Police Force hereby warns against the recent disturbing trend of self-kidnapping, which is a punishable offence under the laws, and cautions the public against engaging in such activities as there are legal consequences associated with this criminal act. This follows observed incidents of self-kidnapping in various locations, with suspects apprehended in Lagos and Abuja.
“The Force hereby cautions members of the public to be wary of this trend, while those with intent to venture into these criminal acts should desist, as the police will leave no stone unturned to cause such suspects to face the full wrath of the law.
“Equally, we vehemently encourage the media and social media influencers, bloggers, etc., to constantly verify news before broadcasting it, not to create panic and jeopardise our security arrangements.”