False kidnapping, or self-kidnapping, has become a worrying trend. The Nigeria Police Force has issued warnings against it, stating that it is illegal.
This was revealed in a statement by ACP Muyiwa Adejobi, the Force’s Public Relations Officer, who “cautioned the public against engaging in such activities as there are legal consequences associated with this criminal act.”
“This is following observed incidents of self-kidnapping in various locations, with suspects apprehended in Lagos and Abuja.
“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 N3 million to purchase a property in Badagry, Lagos. The husband justified the act, citing financial difficulties and lack of support from relatives.
“Both were arrested and subsequently charged to court.
“Also, one Albarka Sukuya of Jenta Apata, Jos, has been notorious for staging his kidnap on several occasions and received ransoms from unsuspecting members of the community in Plateau State.
“Similarly, on 20th January 2024, a young man, Nnamdi Agu, faked his kidnap in Abuja in an attempt to defraud one of his family members who reside 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.
“It is obvious that the suspect and many others leverage on the prevailing instances of kidnapping and plan to engage in such criminal and deceptive acts of staged or self-kidnapping to make money.
“These three (3) cases are a few similar cases recorded in some states, that have been thwarted by the Police.
“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.
“On the other hand, we strongly urge the media, bloggers, and social media influencers to always confirm news before disseminating it in order to avoid spreading panic and endangering our security measures.”
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