How student faked kidnap, demanded over N980m ransom from dad – Police

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The Lagos State Police Command revealed that a 20-year-old student, Collins Ikwebe, faked his own kidnapping and demanded a ransom of over N980 million from his father. The staged kidnapping involved Collins and five of his schoolmates, and came to light after a social media post by a friend of one of the suspects went viral.

The post by @FlackoT on social media read, “Guys, I’m locked up in Ikeja Police Station. I don’t have enough time and I don’t know what to do. So, this is my only alternative. So, y’all know what happened to me. Someone faked his kidnapping and requested ransom from his dad. His dad reported the case to SARS. They tracked his phone. I genuinely knew nothing about it until I reached the station.”

The social media user also expressed concern about the lengthy legal process, stating, “His dad came to the station and requested his release but they insisted on taking the case to court which could take up to three years to resolve. Other people that were in the apartment with him are locked up as well.”

In response, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the details. “Following a report from his family, our investigation established that 20-year-old Collins Oluchukwu Ikwebe faked his own kidnap,” Hundeyin stated.

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The scheme involved multiple ransom demands. “His dad received several calls from Collins’ number but with different voices giving instructions on what amount of money to be paid and methods of payment,” Hundeyin explained. Over two weeks, sums ranging from $500,000 to as low as N30,000 were demanded.

On June 20, 2024, detectives located Collins and his accomplices in a four-bedroom apartment in Lekki, where they had been staying for ten days. The investigation continues to determine the involvement of the other five individuals found with Collins.

Hundeyin emphasized, “For now, none of the suspects has been exonerated.”

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