Men of that Plateau State Police Command have arrested a Jos-based pastor, Albarka Bitrus Sukuya, for stagging his own kidnap and demanding ransom from members of his congregation.
The command’s spokesperosn, Alabo Alfred, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, said that the clergyman was arrested alongside his collaborators following intelligence reports after church members paid N600,000 ransom to secure the cleric’s release.
“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 LGA and (3) Aye (surname yet to be known) ‘male of Jalingo, Taraba State,” the statement read.
According to the police spokesperson, the suspect further disclosed that on January 4, 2023, he set ablaze two vehicles (a Mercedes Benz and a Toyota) and a bicycle parked at the premises of ECWA Bishara 3, Jenta Apata, belonging to his colleagues. He alleged that one of them, his senior pastor, hates him.
“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,” Alfred added.