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Police parade teenager who arranged fake kidnap to extort N6m from parents

Posted by Sunnewsonline.com on 2007/09/05 | Views: 2556 |

Police parade teenager who arranged fake kidnap to extort N6m from parents


Blinded by love, an 18-year-old female undergraduate of the Ebonyi State University has told how she faked being held hostage by a gang of kidnappers, which demanded a N6 million ransom from her parents after which she eloped with her boyfriend.

Police parade teenager who arranged fake kidnap to extort N6m from parents
Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Blinded by love, an 18-year-old female undergraduate of the Ebonyi State University has told how she faked being held hostage by a gang of kidnappers, which demanded a N6 million ransom from her parents after which she eloped with her boyfriend.

Now in police net, alongside three other accomplices, Nneamaka Promise Ubani, daughter of a Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) staff in Abuja, who was reportedly abducted on July 13, 2007 at Onitsha, says she arranged the fake kidnap to raise funds to cater for the education of Stanley Obi, her heart-throb, whom she met not long ago.

For over 30 minutes, she held the police top hierarchy and crime reporters spell-bound on Monday at the Louis Edet House police headquarters in Abuja, as she narrated how she became deeply passionate and melted in love for Stanley after he told her that he was an orphan and could, therefore, not actualize his dream of a university education.

" Stanley told me he was an orphan; that he is the last child of his parents, that all his other sisters have got married and he had nobody to help him. He told me he wanted to further his education. After some time, I started having passion for him. I told him that I was going to run away from home and feign kidnap; that we will then demand for ransom and use the money to sponsor him to school," Nneamaka, while being paraded with three other suspects, including a ‘man of God’.

Ironically, like someone acting under the influence of an irreversible oath, she was determined to extort millions of naira from her parents, despite the fact that besides her mother, Mrs. Juliana Ubani, who works as secretary to a senior manager in the PHCN headquarters in Abuja, her father is unemployed and is finding it difficult to fend for her other siblings.

After sealing the deal with her lover, Nneamaka left Abuja for her school at Abakaliki, and later traveled to visit her grandma at 32, Egerton Road in Onitsha, in preparation for the evil act. A few days after her arrival, while on an errand to purchase soap a few metres away from her home, she was allegedly kidnapped in the full glare of neighbours and passers-by.

Then, her parents were inundated with phone calls and text messages from the supposed kidnappers, demanding a N6 million ransom to be paid within 48 hours, or else the victim would be killed.

Although the distraught parents had no money, they negotiated the ransom down to N600, 000, which they raised after over one month of their daughter’s disappearance and paid into an account in a bank in the name of one Victor Augustine, whose real name has been discovered to be Jude Ofodu.

However, the bubble burst when Jude went to the bank to collect the money lodged into his account by Nneamaka’s parents. Moments after he commenced the withdrawal process, he was nabbed by detectives who had been positioned within the bank premises. Jude eventually led the police to fish out three other accomplices, whose names were given as Pastor Favour Uzoma, Amechi Obi and Desmond Obi, while Nneamaka’s lover, Stanley Obi, is at large.

Sensing that the game was up after the arrest of her collaborators, Nneamaka surrendered herself to the police at the Central Division in Onitsha, from where she was moved to the Anambra State command headquarters at Awka and later transferred to Abuja.

Looking sober but calm, Nneamaka did not mince words as she gave a blow by blow account of her journey into fake captivity from Abuja to Abakaliki, Onitsha, Asaba, Iselu-Asaba, and back to Abuja not into the warm embrace of her parents, but as a suspect in police custody.

Her confession: "I met Stanley in our compound in Abuja. He came to stay with his elder sister, who stays in the same compound with my parents. From there, we started an affair, which was not known to my parents, but my siblings and other residents in the compound knew about it. Stanley told me he is an orphan; that he is the last child of his parents, that his other sisters got married and he has nobody assisting him. He told me he wanted to further his education.

"After some time, I started having passion for him. I told him that I was going to run away from home and feign kidnap. That we will then demand ransom from my parents and we will use the money to sponsor him. So, Stanley now went to Lagos to stay with another of his sister and from there, he started sending text messages to my mother demanding that she resign from her job. He also sent other text messages.

"When I asked him when he sent that message that my mother should resign her job, he told me it was just a preamble to our plan, that my mother will not leave her job. Later, I left Abuja for my school at Abakaliki, and then went to see my grand mum at Onitsha on the 3rd of July. One day, my grand mum sent me to my uncle’s place and from there, I went to Asaba. Before then, Stanley had called one of his brothers called Desmond to pick me up at the Mr. Biggs in Asaba, that I am his fiancée. So, Desmond actually came and took me to a village called Akuku-Igbo in Delta State and kept me in one of his friend’s house.

"After two weeks, Desmond asked me why I’ve stayed for so long since I said I was a student. Then, I opened up to Desmond and told him about my plan with Stanley. So, Desmond called Stanley to come from Lagos. When Stanley came, he didn’t come to Akuku-Igbo. He stayed at Asaba where Desmond went to see him. When he returned, Desmond told me that his brother (Stanley), had already made arrangement on how to collect the money from my parents. That Stanley will use the bank account of one person whom I know to be Ekene, to collect the money.

"On the following day, which was a Friday, Stanley went with Ekene to the bank because my parents had called him and said they’ve paid in the money. Then, I was very sick. Not quite long on the same day, Desmond came to tell me that they’ve arrested Ekene and that Ekene was going to bring the police to look for us. By then, I was living with Pastor Favour, whom Desmond took me to and introduced as his fiancée. I stayed in Pastor Favour’s house for over one month, and he lived with his wife and children. With the new development, we had to leave Pastor Favour’s house that day.

"Though I was very sick, we left and took shelter in an uncompleted building till the next day (Saturday), and it was raining heavily. Desmond took me to one of his friend’s place at Iselu-Asaba. When we got there, they said his friend was not around. So, we took his room key from a neighbour and stayed there.

"On that same Saturday, Stanley came to me at Iselu-Asaba and told me that Ekene had been arrested at the bank and he escaped.

That one of his sisters and Pastor Favour have also been arrested. When he told me all these, I said we should go to the Central Police Station at Onitsha and report ourselves. He agreed to follow me to the station, but said because I was very sick, he needed to raise money to buy drugs for me. He said he was going to Calabar and would come back in two days. So he left and after two days when he didn’t show up again, I submitted myself to the police."

Commenting on the incident, the Ag. Inspector General of police, Mike Okiro, said amid incessant reports of kidnapping and hostage taking, the Nneamaka case has made it difficult for the police to know which is true or not until the completion of investigations. He warned parents, guardians and members of the public to always monitor their wards and keep them away from bad company.

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