A kidnap victim, Maris Ibe, has successfully outwitted her captors and walked them into a police net in the Asaba area of Delta State.
The woman, after she was abducted, pretended to understand and support her captors’ reasons for taking to the crime.
Although the kidnappers, Sunday Chukwu and Chidokwe Efide, asked for N500,000, Ibe convinced her husband to give them N1 million.
After falling for her tricks, hook, line and sinker, the kidnappers escorted her to where she boarded a bus back home.
Less than 45 hours after her release, police grabbed Chukwu and Efide.
According to the police, Chukwu and Efide would be charged for kidnapping Ibe, a businesswoman.
She was abducted on January 14, 2021 along Ibori Golf Club in Asaba.
The suspects were arrested by operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team, headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
The Police explained: “The victim tricked the kidnappers while she was still in their captivity and eventually gained their trust.
“Since they trusted her, they divulged vital information to her about their activities.
“She would later hand it over to the police after she was released.
“She asked her husband to increase the ransom money from the initial demand of N500,000 to N1 million.
“The kidnappers got comfortable with her and stopped beating her.
“They also stopped blindfolding her.
“After the ransom was paid, they escorted her to the bus stop, where she boarded a bus home.”
It was further gathered that the kidnappers never bargained that Ibe would snitch on them, since she had shown them kindness and understanding.
“They were, however, shocked out of their wits when operatives stormed their hideout and rounded them up.
Recovered from them were three locally made guns, an axe, iron cutter, 10 unexpended cartridges and the sum of N320,000.
The suspects, while being interrogated, confessed to the crime, explaining that they took to it because they lost their jobs as sand dredgers.
Chukwu, 28, married with a child, said: “I dredge sand for a living, at a waterfront in Asaba.
“I was formerly into farming, but I was arrested for buying a stolen phone in 2018.
“I was taken to prison, where I spent two years.
“When I was released, I went into sand dredging.
“It was there I met Ali and Muritala, who later became my good friends.
“They told me they were into armed robbery and kidnapping.
“They showed me their guns and took me to the place where they keep their guns.
“During the COVID19 lockdown, they relocated to their hometown in Kogi State, leaving their guns behind.
“When things became tough for me economically during the lockdown, I picked up the guns, called one of my friends, Efide, who had no job and we talked about forming a kidnapping gang.
“We then trailed a woman driving a nice looking car.
“We trailed her on a motorcycle to her house and abducted her just as she was about to enter the gate of the house.”
She was ordered to step down from her car and then they marched her into the bush.
She was made to call her husband.
The kidnappers spoke with her, asking for N500,000 as ransom.
Chukwu said: “But the woman offered us N1 million because we didn’t take her vehicle.
“She told her husband to increase the money we demanded and not to get the police involved because she had discovered that all we needed was just money to survive.
“Yes, we did beat and blindfolded her.
“One of the woman’s brothers wanted to bring the ransom to us but she insisted her sales girl should bring the money.
“I was the person who collected money from the sales girl along Awaine Road.
“I gave the girl N600 for transportation back home.
“I also led the woman to the expressway to look for a bus to take her home.”
While explaining that the sharing formula was 50-50, he added that his own N500,000 was still in his bank account.
He was planning to rent an apartment with it.
He added: “I’m not the owner of the iron cutter and other home breaking equipment found with me.
“The owners of the iron cutters use them when they want to steal power generators from telecommunication masts or from the home of rich people within Delta State.
“It was three days after the abduction of that woman that I was arrested.
“I have given my life to Christ and I want to turn a new leaf.”
Efide, 27, blamed Chukwu for luring him into kidnapping.
He said he was not married, but has a child.
He also explained that the abduction of Ibe was his first crime.
His words: “I have never done a thing like this before.
“It was my friend Chukwu, who lured me into this business.
“I have succeeded in putting my family to shame.
“I used to make between N4,000 and N5,000 from loading sand tippers at the Asaba waterfront, but the owners of the sand brought in some pay loaders, which started doing our jobs.
“I was left with no other option than to look for a way to survive.
“The devil used my friend Chukwu to lure me into kidnapping.
“I accepted to join him because I needed money to treat myself.
“I had a damaged kidney and I had no money to take care of myself.
“I used part of the ransom money to buy a television set and a home theatre.
“I then kept the rest for my treatment.”