The police in Lagos have arrested a 26-year-old woman, Ataghar Namdoo, for allegedly arranging her own kidnap in a bid to extort money from her employer.
Also arrested as a conspirator for the alleged crime is David Okpe, who described himself as a military personnel.
The suspects were arrested by operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Lagos State Police Command.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, who confirmed the incident, said that on January 16, 2020, Namdoo conspired with her boyfriend, Emmanuel Idu, to arrange a fake kidnap of her, and the two persons then brought in Okpe to produce a short video of her, blindfolded and being driven in a truck into a bush.
Elkana said that in a second video, Namdoo, a mother of one child, was seen in a bush at the Sangotedo area of Ajah, Lagos, being threatened by a man wearing a mask and holding a jack knife.
The PPRO added that during investigation, the police identified the masked man as Idu.
“The abductors were demanding N10 million as ransom in the video. The two videos were sent to the employer of the woman, with a threat to kill her and to also go after the family of the employer if the ransom was not paid.
“Frightened by the threat contained in the video and the follow-up calls, the said employer, who is into fleet business, reported the case to the police.
“On the receipt of the case, the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, ordered the Anti-Kidnapping unit to investigate the case. The videos were thoroughly analysed, alongside other vital leads. A well-coordinated operation was put in place, which led to the successful rescue of the ‘victim’ of the abduction and the arrest of Okpe.
“The Command has taken steps to verify the claim made by Okpe that he is a military personnel. Police have equally launched a hunt for the second male suspect, Emmanuel Idu, who is on the run. Okpe confessed to have provided the truck used in driving the girl to the bush. The truck was actually driven by him. He also did the video recordings sent to the employer of the woman. The three suspects are from Benue State. They have known one another for many years. Both the woman and man arrested confessed to commission of the crime.
“They said their aim was to extort money from the girl’s employer and share it among themselves. It is worthy to note that it is a criminal offence for anyone to fake his or her kidnapping. Under the Lagos State laws, the offender, upon conviction, is liable to 14 years imprisonment. The suspects will be charged to court at the end of investigation,” Elkana said.