By Chioma Onuegbu
UYO—A-32-year-old Pastor’s wife of an undisclosed church located in Nsit Atai Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State identified as Mrs. Victoria Elijah Ndu has been arrested for planning her kidnap.
Vanguard gathered that Mrs. Ndu was first rescued in Awo Omamma in Imo state last Monday, August 24 by men of the anti-kidnapping squad from the state Police Command in Ikot Akpan-Abia and arrested the same day after an investigation showed that she actually planned her kidnapping to get some money from her church members.
It was learned that they had placed N3m ransom for her (Victoria) release.
Victoria was said to have told her husband on August 16, 2017 that she was going to the market whereas she travelled to Imo state where she made calls alerting her husband of her kidnap.
Also arrested for alleged conspiracy to the crime was her younger brother, Victor Okon Akang an artisan, who resides in Awo Omamma, Imo State.
It was gathered that Victoria’s brother, Okon Akang had run to the village from Imo State crying over his sister’s alleged kidnap when the sister was actually hiding in his house in Imo state.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Chukwu Ikechukwu told newsmen yesterday at Ikot Akpan-Abia that the suspects were rescued and arrested same day following interrogation by men of the anti-kidnapping unit where Mrs. Victoria confessed to masterminding the crime.
Ikechukwu 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 the wife told him she was going to the market that day. But Nsit Atai lacked the jurisdiction to handle kidnap matter; the case was transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID).
“They traced the calls used by contacting the church members and demanding for N3 million ransom to Awo Omamma in Imo state. That was how men of the anti-kidnapping unit swung into action, tracked down the suspects and rescued them.
“It was while Victoria 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 is doing everything possible to make sure 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, during an interview, admitted to the crime even as both pleaded to be forgiven attributing their action to lack of money to conduct burial ceremony for their late parents.
Victoria, who lamented her suffering after 10years of marriage without a child said: “We are orphans from a 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 died too and since then she has not been buried because of no money. We wanted to conduct burial for both of them.”
She, however, admitted initially placing N3million ransom on herself but reduced the amount to N1million during the negotiations.