Coffin dealer feigns kidnap, demands ransom from brothers

The police in Enugu State have arrested a coffin dealer, Mr. Samuel Ani, for allegedly “kidnapping himself” and demanding ransom from his younger brothers.

Ani was arrested last Thursday in a bush where he had hid himself for six days.

The police said on Sunday that it was from the bush that the suspect made telephone calls to his two younger brothers that he had been abducted and that N2m was required to get him out of the purported kidnappers den. He was said to have told his brothers that failure to pay the ransom meant that he would be killed.

The brothers, however, reported the case to the Enugu State Police Command, which in turn mobilised its anti-kidnap unit.

Our correspondent learnt that an initial sum of N100, 000 was paid into the account number provided by the supposed kidnappers.

However, a girl, Oluchi Ogbu, was arrested when she went to withdraw the money from a new generation bank  on Agbani Road, Enugu.

The Police Public Relations Officer for the state, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, said, “The girl was identified as Oluchi Ogbu from Akpugo in Nkanu West Local Government Area. She is Samuel Ani’s fiancée.

“On closer interrogation, she revealed that the account belongs to her but she was instructed by Samuel (Ani) to supply the account number so that his brothers could pay the ransom into it. She said she was instructed to cash it as soon as she received an alert of the payment and bring it to him (Ani).”

Amaraizu said Ogbu’s revelation led to the arrest of Ani in the bush.

“When we arrested him, he disclosed that he was not kidnapped, adding that he kidnapped himself so that his wealthy younger brothers could pay money for ransom, which he would use to sort out his financial challenges,” the PPRO said.

The suspect told the police that, apart from the deceit, there was no other way his brothers would give him money.

The suspect said he needed to trick the brothers to get out money from them in order to address his immediate challenges, which he said required huge amount of money.

 It was learnt that Ani was married and had five children, but had not told Ogbu, who he also promised marriage.”

The PPRO said investigation into the incident was ongoing.

Posted by Salmon Abiodun

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