The Lagos State Police Command says it has arrested a couple for allegedly planning to extort N5m from their relatives.
The command spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday.
Hundeyin said the husband, a 53-year-old technician and wife, a 48-year-old body massager and bone setter, were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, after a family member of the man reported the purported kidnap.
He said the couple, who admitted to the crime, claimed they planned the self-kidnap with a view to raising N3m to buy back their house in the Badagry area of Lagos.
“The man brought the idea and sold it to his wife. He did not deny it before the police. He said he did it through a text message for a purpose. He said he did it because he wanted to re-buy his house for N3m.
“The man claimed he decided to organise the self-kidnap because none of his brothers and sisters are doing well and some living abroad are willing to assist him financially.
“He claimed that if they heard of his kidnap with his wife, they would negotiate with the kidnappers and pay the money,” the spokesperson said.
Hundeyin noted that the couple was still living at their house in Badagry when they sent out text messages of their kidnap to their relations, stressing that when the police visited the house on Tuesday, they met the wife and three children.
He said the police requested the woman to follow them to the police headquarters, Ikeja, but the woman pleaded with them to allow her to come the next day Wednesday, which was granted.
The police image maker said the woman came to the station as promised and was arrested for self-kidnap, while the husband was arrested the following day.
“She admitted that she supported her husband in the crime. She also admitted that her husband discussed the matter with her and she gave her approval because they never thought it would turn out negative.
“The woman claimed if the plan worked out, it would have been the easiest way to raise money to buy back their house since her husband’s brothers in the UK were unwilling to help him,” Hundeyin said.
Hundeyin pointed out that the woman claimed to service an average of three clients for either bone setting or stroke massaging at the cost of about N150, 000 per person depending on the condition of the patient, wondering why she could not gather such money for the project.
He, however, said the couple claimed they regretted their action and appealed to their families and the police for forgiveness.
Hundeyin said the suspects advised members of the public to avoid crime and never be interested in family or other people’s wealth.
He said the couple would be charged soon.