The Nigeria Police Force has issued a strong caution against the rising and troubling trend of self-kidnapping, emphasizing that it is a punishable offense under existing laws. This warning comes in response to recent incidents of individuals orchestrating their own kidnappings, leading to arrests in Lagos, Plateau, and Abuja.
In Lagos, a couple, Doubara David Yabrifa (53) and Regina Yabrifa (48), was apprehended for an alleged self-kidnapping scheme with the intention of extorting a N5 million ransom. The duo, a technician and a body massager/bone setter, respectively, were arrested after a family member reported the supposed kidnapping. They confessed to planning the self-kidnap as a means to raise N3 million for a property purchase in Badagry, citing financial difficulties and lack of support from relatives. Both have been arrested and charged in court.
Meanwhile, Albarka Sukuya of Jenta Apata, Jos, has gained notoriety for repeatedly staging his own kidnapping and extorting ransoms from unsuspecting members of the community in Plateau State. Additionally, on 20th January, 2024, a young man named Nnamdi Agu attempted to defraud a family member in Abuja by faking his own kidnapping. The Police swiftly intervened, foiling the staged kidnapping and arresting the suspect.
It is evident that individuals like the arrested suspects exploit the prevalent instances of kidnapping, planning and executing deceptive acts of staged or self-kidnapping to extort money.
The Police Force urges the public to remain vigilant and discourages anyone contemplating such criminal acts, emphasizing that the police will spare no effort in ensuring that suspects face the full consequences of the law. Furthermore, the Force calls upon the media, social media influencers, bloggers, and other information disseminators to verify news thoroughly before broadcasting, to avoid causing panic and compromising national security.