A Nigerian teen from Lagos State has admitted that she conspired with her boyfriend and staged her own kidnapping to extort her sister, according to a Punch report. Ujunwa Offiah was arrested at a money drop by Lagos State Police for allegedly conspiring with her lover, Blessed Ifesinachi, and an accomplice, Precious Chukwu, to demand Sh9 million ransom from her family. Ifesinachi - an Uber driver, is still at large.
“This is a case of conspiracy and staged kidnapping, and the man at the centre of this case, who happens to be a Uber driver, is still at large. We are going after him because he conspired with one of these two ladies, Offiah, who faked her kidnap. He cleverly used the phone of another girlfriend, Precious (Chukwu), to contact Offiah’s family, informing them that their daughter had been kidnapped. He requested Sh9 million (N30m) from Offiah’s family to get her freed, and during negotiations, which involved the police, they settled for Sh203,000 (N700,000). While the money was being dropped, we took action and in the process arrested Offiah and Precious,” said state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu.
Speaking to Punch, Offiah claimed that her boyfriend masterminded the kidnap after consulting a witchdoctor. “I met Ifesinachi in October, and when we got talking. I jokingly told him to kidnap me so that he would collect ransom from my sister. I never knew that he took it seriously until he told me he had gone to the village to meet a native doctor and also discussed with his guys about the deal. When he said he was ready, he realised that I was scared and threatened to kill me if I informed anybody of the plan,” said Offiah.
When she heard that her grandmother collapsed after learning about the kidnap, Offiah said she pleaded with Ifesinachi to settle for what her family was offering. “So, I refused to tell anybody because he is a cultist. On November 27, on my way back from school, I went to meet him and a girl, Patience, at 2nd Rainbow, and from there, we went to a hotel. At the hotel, he called my sister to demand N30m as ransom, but when I heard that my grandmother had collapsed in the village because of what happened to me, I told him to accept any amount they offered.”
She went on, “On Thursday, he went to get the money and came back to the hotel on Friday morning. He told me he collected N600,000 and released me after that. When I saw my family members, I told them that some guys kidnapped me. I lied to my family and the police because he threatened to kill me, including my sister’s children. It was when I saw his girlfriend and the schoolbag that I confessed about the whole kidnap.”
Setting the record straight, Chukwu,22, denied being part of the plot saying she was not aware that Ifesinachi used her phone to negotiate the ransom with Offiah’s family. “He asked for my phone that he wanted to use it for business. I never knew he wanted to use it to do this kind of a thing. I was at my workplace when the police came to arrest me.”