A woman, Ataghar Namdo, has been arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly conspiring with her boyfriend, Emmanuel Idu, and a suspected military man, David Okpe, to fake her kidnap.
Namdo staged her abduction with her accomplices, who took her into a bush in the Sangotedo area of Ajah, where footage of her allegedly in the kidnappers’ den was recorded.
Bala Elkana, the state police spokesman, in a statement on Sunday, said the footage showed the 26-year-old blindfolded as the alleged kidnappers whisked her away in a truck, adding that the suspects demanded N10m from Namdo’s employer and threatened to kill her if the ransom was not paid.
He stated that the victim’s employer reported the case to the police, adding that investigation led to Namdo’s rescue and the arrest of one of the accomplices, Okpe, who recorded the footage.
Elkana said, “On Thursday, January 16, 2020, around 10pm, operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Lagos State Police Command, arrested one Ataghar Namdo, 26, for faking her own kidnap. On Thursday 9, 2020, around 6.30pm, the suspect conspired with her boyfriend, Emmanuel Idu, and Okpe David, to produce a short video of herself blindfolded and driven into a bush in a truck.
“In the second video, the woman, a mother of one, was seen in a bush around the Sangotedo area of Ajah, being threatened by a man wearing a mask and holding a jack knife. The police later identified the masked man as Emmanuel Idu, who is the woman’s boyfriend.
“The abductors were demanding N10m as ransom in the video. The two videos were sent to the employer of the lady with a threat to kill her and to also go after the family of the employer if the ransom was not paid.
“Frightened by the threat contained in the videos and the follow-up calls, the said employer, who is into the vehicle fleet business, reported the case to the police. On the receipt of the information, the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, ordered the Anti-Kidnapping Unit to carry out an in-depth investigation into the case.
“The videos were thoroughly analysed alongside other vital leads. A well-coordinated operation was put in place, which led to the successful rescue of the self-arranged victim of the abduction and the arrest of one of the two suspects, David Okpe.”
Elkana stated that a manhunt had been launched for Namdo’s lover, Idu, who escaped during the rescue operation, adding that both the supposed victim and Okpe would be charged.
The PPRO stated, “The command has taken steps to verify the claim made by David Okpe that he is a soldier. The police have equally launched a manhunt for the second male suspect, Emmanuel Idu, who is on the run.
“Okpe David confessed to having provided the truck used in driving the woman to the bush. The truck was actually driven by him. He also did the video recordings sent to the lady’s employer. The three suspects all hail from Benue State. They have known each other for so many years.
“Both the lady and the man arrested confessed to the crime and said their aim was to extort money from the woman’s employer, which they intended to share among themselves. It is worthy to note that it is a criminal offence for anyone to fake their kidnap. Under the Lagos State laws, the offender, upon conviction, is liable to 14 years’ imprisonment. The suspects will be charged.”