A Nigerian pastor based in Jos, Plateau state, identified as Albarka Bitrus, has been arrested by operatives of the Plateau State Police Command for stagging his own kidnap and demanding ransom from members of his congregation.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the command’s spokesman, Alabo Alfred, on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.
According to the police, the clergyman was arrested alongside his collaborators following intelligence reports after church members paid N600,000 ransom to secure the cleric’s release.
The statement read, “The Plateau State Police Command has again uncovered the nefarious act of one pastor Albarka Bitrus Sukuya ‘m’ of Jenta Apata, Jos who on several occasions staged his kidnap with his cohorts and receive ransom from sympathizing members of his congregation.
“Sequel to his spurious kidnaps of 14/11/2022 and 30/11/2022 where the sum of Four Hundred Thousand Naira (N400,000) and Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000) were respectively paid by his sympathizers 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 investigation commenced immediately. In the course of investigation, it was established that the suspect has been conspiring with his gang to stage his kidnap and fraudulently collect ransom.
“On interrogation, the suspect confessed to have committed the crime and mentioned the following persons as his accomplices : (1) Baruk Mailale, (2) Nathaniel Bitrus both males of Yelwan Zangam village of Jos-north and (3) Aye (surname yet to be known) ‘male of Jalingo, Taraba State.”
“The suspect further disclosed that on 04/01/2023, he set ablaze two motor 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, Jos-north LGA arrested two (2) of the suspects namely, Baruk Mailale and Nathaniel Bitrus while effort is been intensified to arrest Aye, the third suspect”
In a related development, suspected to be kidnappers have attacked the Ushafa community in Bwari Area Council, Abuja, killing a man and abducting his family members.
It was gathered that the incident, which occurred on Wednesday morning at about 1 am, has aroused tension in the area.
A member of the community, Mr James Olachi, stated that the incident happened behind the LGEA Primary School Ushafa, close to the popular Going-Park.
According to Mr James, the assailants invaded the area and were shooting for over 30 minutes without interruption from any security agency.
The deceased, simply identified as Mr Adegoke, was said to have struggled with the gun-wielding kidnappers before he was gunned down.
The daredevil attackers whisked away the wife and a cousin to an unknown destination.
The spokesperson of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT police command, DSP Josephine Adeh, did not answer her phone calls or respond to text messages forwarded to her by a DAILY POST correspondent.