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Nigerian couple fake own kidnap to obtain ransom from relatives

The Nigerian Police Force has revealed that it arrested four suspects for allegedly staging their abduction in different parts of the country.

Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said the arrest was effected by a team of operatives from its Lagos, Abuja and Plateau State Commands.

In a statement released via his Twitter (X) handle on Tuesday, the spokesperson said the suspects, including a couple in Lagos, staged their kidnapping to extort money from their family members.

Adejobi said the husband, David Yabrifa, 53, and his wife, Regina Yabrifa, 48, made relatives believe they had been abducted so that they could obtain a N5m ransom.

He said the other suspect, Albarka Sukuya was arrested in Plateau for staging his kidnapping on several occasions, and one Nnamdi Agu also staged his kidnapping in Abuja in an attempt to defraud his family.

He said; “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 N3m to purchase a property in Badagry, Lagos. The husband justified the act, citing financial difficulties and a lack of support from relatives. Both were arrested, and they were subsequently charged in court.

“Also, one Albarka Sukuya of Jenta Apata, Jos, has been notorious for staging his kidnapping on several occasions and has received ransoms from unsuspecting members of the community in Plateau State.

“Similarly, on January 20, 2024, a young man, Nnamdi Agu, faked his kidnapping in Abuja in an attempt to defraud one of his family members who resides 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. The suspect and many others leverage the prevailing instances of kidnapping and plan to engage in such criminal and deceptive acts of staged or self-kidnapping to make money.”