A pastor, Albarka Sukuya, has been arrested by Plateau State police operatives for allegedly staging his kidnap on several occasions to extort his church members.
The suspect last week also set ablaze a Mercedes Benz and Toyota cars belonging to his senior pastors at ECWA Bishara 3 Jenta Apata premises, claiming one of them hates him.
The suspect, who is accused of criminal conspiracy, self-kidnapping, and mischief is a resident of Jenta Apata and was working alongside other members of his gang to fake his kidnap while his sympathetic members contributed money to pay for ransom.
Confirming the arrest, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Alfred Alabo, said: “The Plateau State Police Command has again uncovered the nefarious act of one Pastor Albarka Bitrus Sukuya of Jenta Apata, Jos, who on several occasions staged his kidnap with his cohorts and received ransom from sympathizing members of his congregation.
“Sequel to his spurious kidnaps of 14/11/2022 and 30/11/2022 where N400,000 and N200,000 were respectively paid by his sympathisers as ransom for his release, the incidents triggered suspicion.
Through credible intelligence, the clergyman was invited by the DPO Nassarawa Gwong Police Station, CSP Musa Hassan, and the investigation commenced immediately.
In the course of the investigation, it was established that the suspect has been conspiring with his gang to stage his kidnap and fraudulently collecting the ransom.
On interrogation, the suspect confessed to having committed the crime and mentioned the following persons as his accomplices: Baruk Mailale, Nathaniel Bitrus both males of Yelwan Zangam village of Jos North, and Aye (surname yet to be known) of Jalingo, Taraba State.
“The suspect further disclosed that on 04/01/2023, he set ablaze two vehicles (a Mercedes Benz and a Toyota) and a bicycle parked at ECWA Bishara 3 Jenta Apata premises belonging to his colleagues, who he alleged one of them hates him, referring to his senior pastor.
“However, Police operatives of Nassarawa Gwong Division, arrested two of the suspects, namely, Baruk Mailale and Nathaniel Bitrus, while effort is being intensified to arrest Aye, the third suspect.“