A middle-aged housewife, Mrs Yemi Samuel, has been arrested by men of the Kwara State Police Command for allegedly faking her own kidnap in Kabba, Kogi State.
Samuel was among the nine suspects paraded by the police in Ilorin on Wednesday.
Three other suspects, Jenmo Usman, 27; Iliashu Mohammed, 25; and Maude Umaru, 21, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, were apprehended for alleged kidnapping, criminal intimidation and conspiracy.
The trio were alleged to have conspired and threatened their employer, one Sarafa Yusuf, on the telephone that they would kidnap him if he failed to give them N2m.
The Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr Kayode Egbetokun, said Samuel, who lives in Kabba, allegedly went into hiding at her parents’ home in Ilorin and claimed that she was kidnapped by unknown persons while she was cleaning the compound, and taken to an unknown destination.
Egbetokun stated that from her hideout, the suspect demanded N5m ransom, which was later reduced to N1m.
The CP said her husband and family members was able to raise N500,000, which was taken to Iluke in the Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Egbetokun said before the completion of the transaction, State Intelligence Bureau operatives had tracked the suspect to the Kulende area of Ilorin, where she was arrested.
The CP stated, “On June 15, 2019, around 5.30am, Mrs Yemi Samuel hatched a self-kidnap scenario; she left her home and went into hiding, claiming that she had been kidnapped while cleaning the compound by unknown persons and taken to an unknown destination, adding that her abductors had demanded N5m ransom for her release.
“She added that her kidnappers weren’t willing to talk to anyone on the phone due to fear of their voices been recognised. She later called and said that the ransom had been reduced to N1m.
“Effort was intensified and N500,000 was arranged by her husband as well as family members and well-wishers.
“She directed them to take the money to Iluke town, but before the transaction could be effected, SIB operatives in Kwara, led by the officer in charge, Saka Fagade, tracked the suspect to the Kulende area, Sango, Ilorin, and arrested her. She had hid herself in her parents’ rented apartment.”
Samuel, who said she was a Mathematics graduate, confessed to committing the crime in order to raise money for her husband, whom she said was poor.
“I’m a graduate of Mathematics and I live in Kabba with my husband. Things are hard for us and my husband is not finding life easy; so I decided to raise money for him from members of his family; that was why I went to hide myself thinking that his family would raise the money for him to rescue me,” she stated.
As for the three suspects, who allegedly demanded N2m from their boss so that they would not kidnap him, Egbetokun said, “On June 10, 2019, one Sarafa Yusuf of the Kebe Compound, Ilota via Idofian, Kwara State, reported that on June 9, 2019, around 6pm, he received a phone call and the caller demanded N2m from him or else he would be kidnapped and killed.
“Based on this, the complainant made an arrangement with the police on where to drop the money, which was at the Iyana Eleja junction via Idofian.
“It was later discovered that one Jenmo Usman, an employee of the complainant, was the one who picked the polythene bag containing the money at 11.30am and he was immediately arrested by the police. His arrest led to the nabbing of two other suspects, Iliasu Mohammed and Maude Umaru, who also work for the complainant.”
Egbetokun added that all the suspects would soon be charged to court upon the completion of investigation into the respective cases.
The CP also said five other suspects were apprehended in connection with last week’s protest in Ilorin by commercial motorcyclists.
He added that they were arrested for conspiracy, inciting public disturbance, disturbance of the public peace, rioting with dangerous weapons, intimidation and causing grievous hurt and mischief by fire.