Nigeria Newspapers

Five arrested after son fakes self-kidnap, demands ransom from dad



Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin

The Lagos State Police Command announced on Sunday the arrest of 20-year-old Collins Ikwebe, who allegedly staged his abduction and demanded ransom from his father.

The command noted that Collins, along with one male and four female accomplices whose names were not disclosed, were detained for allegedly orchestrating the crime.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest of the suspects while dismissing a claim of illegal detention by one of the suspects.

Hundeyin’s disclosure came after a viral post from an user, @Flacko TG, who claimed he was being detained at the Ikeja Police Division for a crime he didn’t commit and wanted the public to know his whereabouts.

“Guys I’m locked up in the Ikeja police station. I don’t have enough time, and I don’t know what to do. So, this is my only alternative, so y’all know what happened to me,” he wrote.

He added, “Someone faked his kidnapping and requested (a) ransom from his dad. His dad reported the case to SARS, and they tracked his phone.

“I genuinely knew nothing about it until I reached the station. His dad came to the station and requested his release, but they insisted on trying the case in court, which could take up to three years to resolve. Other people who were in the apartment with him were locked up as well.”

Responding to the user’s claim in the comment section of ..., the command spokesperson stated that the detained suspects had demanded a ransom from Collin’s father after executing their scheme.

Hundeyin revealed that the 20-year-old faked his kidnapping while staying with other suspects in a short-let apartment in the Lekki area of Lagos before their arrest.

He stated, “Following a report from his family, our investigation established that 20-year-old Collins Oluchukwu Ikwebe faked his own kidnapping. His dad received several calls from Collins’ number but with different voices giving instructions on what amount of money to be paid and methods of payment.

“At different times spanning two weeks, different sums —$500,000, $200,000, N2,000,000, N50,000, and N30,000— were requested from Collins’ dad.

“On Thursday, June 20, 2024, detectives of the Lagos State Police Command eventually busted a short-let four-bedroom apartment in Lekki where Collins and five of his schoolmates (one male, four females) had been staying for the past 10 days.”

Hundeyin further noted that none of the suspects had been exonerated yet, noting that “investigation is being concluded to establish the extent of culpability of the other five occupants of the apartment.”

Meanwhile, Nigerians on the microblogging site have called on the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.

“Good clarification. He has to wait for the conclusion of the investigation. I will quickly add that he should not be detained beyond the statutory limit; he should be allowed the opportunity to have his lawyer present as soon as possible. Finally, he is innocent until proved guilty,” @otuo_ogbajie wrote.

@oil_shaeikh stated, “Thanks for the clarification. I trust you to do the needful when investigations are concluded.”

PUNCH Metro reported a similar incident in March 2024, involving the arrest of three women and a man for allegedly faking the kidnap of one of them and demanding a N5m ransom.