© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Teenager plans own kidnap to get money for school party in Jos
POLICEMEN have captured a teenager who staged his own abduction, along with four older friends, in order to obtain ransom from his dad for the celebration of his secondary school graduation ceremony.
The group demanded a sum of N500,000 from the father for the release of his son.
The Plateau State command police spokesperson, Terna Matthias said the staged kidnapping was “expertly done,” according to BBC. He said investigations were ongoing to reveal the circumstances of why a 15-year-old boy could do that.
The boy’s father had sold his car, three days before the staged kidnap. He sold it to raise money for his family’s upkeep. But the boy target was to secure the cash for the graduation ceremony.
Matthias said the money was kept in the father’s account. If it had been kept at home, he said the boy’s initial plan was to go away with the cash.
So the boy’s friends who aged between 18 and 22 acted as the kidnappers, contacted his father, and demanded N500,000.
“They warned him the son had been taken far away from Jos and he should not report to security agencies. The father reported only after the threat became very serious,” said the state Police spokesman.
After the father made the report, the police tracked down the phone number used to make the ransom calls to an apartment in Jos city. The security officers stormed the building and arrested the suspects.
“The father felt very terrible at the discovery. His son had not asked him for money for the party beforehand,” Matthias said.
The business of kidnapping has become more rampant in Nigeria. Kidnapping for ransom is now one of the security challenges the country is facing, together with bandits killing and Boko haram insurgencies.
Some abductees lose their lives as their families and relatives fail to pay ransoms.
Though the issue of insecurity spreads across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, it is very dominant in the Northern region, especially Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Borno states.
The major highway linking Abuja to the city of Kaduna is a major kidnapping spot in the country. The Nigerian Army had launched Operation Puff Adder on April 5 to fight the incessant attack along the road. And within two months of operation, the security agency said it had arrested 2,175 kidnapping suspects.
The Army said some of the kidnappers dressed in military camouflage and mounted an illegal roadblock on the road.
Kidnapping by Nigerians has extended abroad as four Nigeran youths were arrested in Ghana over alleged kidnap of two Canadian volunteers in June.
According to a journal published on the Researchgate in May, kidnapping is a situation driven by the deteriorating social condition in the country. It noted that transforming the governance system, restoring peaceful co-existence and building economic prosperity would guarantee national security, human security and sustainable livelihood in Nigeria.