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Woman fakes own kidnap, demands N3m ransom from church members

The police in Akwa Ibom State have arrested a 32-year-old woman, Mrs. Victoria Ndu, for faking her own kidnap.

Punch learnt that Ndu, who claimed to have been kidnapped, was rescued in Awommama in Imo State on August 24 by men of the anti-kidnapping squad from Akwa Ibom State police headquarters, Ikot Akpan-Abia.

She was said to have been rearrested the same day after investigations revealed that Ndu actually planned her own kidnap in order to get money from her church members.

Following investigation, the police said she was found to have placed N3m as ransom for her (Victoria) release.

It was gathered that her younger brother, Victor Akan, an artisan resident in Awommama in Imo State, was also arrested for allegedly conspiring with her to commit the crime.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Chukwu Ikechukwu, said in Uyo on Monday that the suspects were rescued and arrested same day following interrogation by men of anti-kidnapping unit where Ndu confessed to masterminding the crime.

He said, “Victoria’s husband had, on August 16, reported to the Divisional Police Headquarters in Nsit Atai that his wife had been kidnapped. He told the police that his wife told him that she was going to the market that day.

“But Nsit Atai lacked the jurisdiction to handle kidnap matters. The case was subsequently transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department.

“They traced the calls used in contacting the church members and demand for N3m ransom to Awommama in Imo State. That was how the men of the anti-kidnapping unit swung into action and tracked down the suspects and rescued them.

“It was while Ndu was being interrogated at the anti- kidnapping unit that she confessed that she actually masterminded her own kidnap. That was how she and her brother were arrested. The brother was arrested because both of them conspired to fake the crime.

“What you are seeing here today is to serve as a deterrent to people who may be planning to go into this kind of crime. Police in Akwa Ibom are doing everything possible to ensure that crime in the state is reduced to the barest minimum.

“The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zubairu Muazu, therefore appeals to members of the public to provide useful information that will help us to achieve that and serve them better.”

The suspects, in an interview, admitted to the crime even as both pleaded to be forgiven and attributed their action to lack of money to conduct burial ceremony of their late parents.

Ndu, who lamented her suffering after 10 years of marriage without a child, said, “We are orphans from very poor background. I only did what I did to help my family bury our parents.

“Our father died in 2008, but we did not conduct any burial ceremony for him. In April this year, our mother also died, but since then, she has not been buried because of no money.
“We wanted to conduct burial for both of them.”

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