A Jos-based pastor, Albarka Bitrus, was arrested by officers from the Plateau State Police Command for burning two cars and a bicycle belonging to other clerics who he claimed hated him.
Command spokesman Alabo Alfred, in a statement on Wednesday, said Bitrus revealed that on January 4, 2023, he set fire to a Mercedes Benz, a Toyota car and a bicycle, parked at ECWA Bishara 3, Jenta Apata, Jos, owned by his colleagues because they hated him.
Alfred said the suspect also confessed to staging his own kidnapping and demanding ransom from members of his congregation.
“The Plateau State Police Command has once again uncovered the nefarious acts of a pastor Albarka Bitrus Sukuya from Jenta Apata, Jos, who on several occasions arranged for him to be kidnapped with his cohorts and was ransomed by sympathetic members of his congregation.
“In the aftermath of his spurious kidnappings on November 14, 2022 and November 30, 2022, when his supporters paid the sums of N400,000 and N200,000 respectively as ransom for his release, the incidents aroused suspicion.
“Through credible intelligence, the cleric was invited by the DPO, Nassarawa Gwong Police Station, CSP Musa Hassan, and the investigation began immediately. In the course of the investigation, it was established that the suspect had been conspiring with his gang to organize his kidnapping and fraudulently collect ransom.
“Under interrogation, the suspect confessed to committing the crime and named the following people as his accomplices: Baruk Mailale, Nathaniel Bitrus and Aye (last name unknown),” the statement added.
Police said two of the accomplices, Mailale and Bitrus, were arrested, while efforts to arrest Aye were underway.