Photos: Woman stages her own kidnap to extort money from her relatives so she can send herself and boyfriend abroad
The Nigeria Police Force have arrested 36-year-old mother of three, Chizoba Ogbonna, pictured above, for allegedly masterminding her kidnapping.
Chizoba who is a graduate of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Imo State, was arrested with two others, Uche Anthony and Joseph Ezema, who allegedly assisted her to mastermind her kidnap, as well as negotiate for a ransom. A relative of hers had reported to the police that she was kidnapped and that her abductors were demanding for N2 million ransom.
The Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT), headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, swung into action and after much investigation, trailed Ogbonna and her kidnappers to an uncompleted building at Agborji community in Abriba-Ohafia area of the state with the intention of rescuing her and arresting her kidnappers. They were however left in shock when they arrived the hideout and discovered that Ogbonna was having an affair with one of her supposed kidnappers, John Ezema, and her abduction was staged to extort money from her relatives, which she intended using to travel out of the country with her boyfriend.
Speaking after her arrest, Ogbonna said
''I am a primary school teacher. I was formerly married and had three children for my ex-husband but I don't love him It was as if he charmed me. I pulled out of the marriage when I realised that I had been hypnotised. In 2018, I met Joseph on Facebook and he told me he is a fashion designer. Later I told him that I have some jobs for him and from that point we started a relationship. At one point in our relationship, we discussed travelling out of the country and he told me that he had once spent about N300,000 for a visa and it didn’t work out for him. So, on March 13, I was on my way to visit my sister and a vehicle stopped in front of me. I saw six persons in it and a woman inside the vehicle called me and when I responded, she asked me to enter the vehicle. At that point I lost control of myself. She asked me to enter the vehicle and I obeyed her.
“I later found myself in the home of my boyfriend at Agborji. My boyfriend took my phone, called my sister and demanded ransom. When my sister spoke with me, I begged her to pay the ransom my boyfriend was demanding. I then sent my account number to my sister and she paid N500,000 into the account. Two days after the money was paid, the police came and arrested me and my boyfriend.”
Her boyfriend however denied claims that he hypnotised her. John said it was Ogbonna that actually plotted her kidnap with him and other suspects.
“I have just a secondary school leaving certificate. I’m not married and I don’t have children. I was arrested because I faked the kidnap of my girlfriend. I met her sometime in April 2018, she is one of my friends on Facebook and she was always commenting on my photos. We started chatting, then we started dating. She told me that she was a divorcee and that her husband used to beat her and he wasn’t allowing her to have friends and there was a day the man came home with another woman and everything became complicated for her. Then she decided to move out of her husband’s home.
“She said she rented an apartment and lived there with one of her children. So, when we started dating, I visited her house with one of my friends, Anthony and I told her that I was planning to travel out of the country. She said she wanted to travel with me, but I told her that I didn’t have such money.
“So, she told me that she would want me to kidnap her and demand ransom from her sister. That we would use the money to travel out of the country. We then travelled to my town, Abriba and she came with a blue phone with two sim cards.
“Two days later, she covered her phone with a cloth and called her sister, pretending to be a kidnapper. She later told her sister that she had been kidnapped and she demanded ransom. Later, she got scared and thought her sister would recognise her voice. Then my friend, Anthony, took over the phone and started negotiating with her sister. After two weeks of negotiation, her family paid N300,000 into her account.
“On the day we were arrested, her family paid an additional N200,000 into her account and they said that was all they could afford. She gave me N100,000 as my share, but the police came and arrested me. I told the police that I am not a kidnapper and that it was my girlfriend who lured me into the act.” he said