Pastor who staged his kidnap twice to collect money from members speaks

A Jos-based pastor, Albarka Bitrus Sukunya, who was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 11, for allegedly staging his kidnap, has told the police that he did it because he needed the ransom to settle his financial challenges.
The Plateau State Police Command said its investigation revealed that Mr Albarka, a pastor of ECWA Church, conspired with his gang and collected ransom meant for his release.

During a parade at the police headquarters on Thursday, Jan. 12, the pastor said he regretted his action.

He said: “I put myself into these activities because of the financial challenges I am facing with. When I did the first one, I felt guilty. When I went out, the money with me has finished. I was thinking of coming back. I was just confused. That is why I did the second one. I am regretting my action.”
The pastor who also allegedly burnt a vehicle owned by a senior pastor of the church said he didn’t know what came over him.
He said: “I burnt the vehicle because I was guilty of what I did. I was just confused. I don’t even know what came over me. Being a pastor, that is why the spirit of God didn’t allow me to go without confessing my action. I am sorry for what I have done. I am really sorry.

In a statement, the police claimed that the pastor collected the sum of N400,000 on 14 November 2022, and on 30 November of the same year, he staged another kidnap of himself and collected the sum of 200,000 from members of his church.
Police said operatives of Nassarawa Gwong Division, Jos-north LGA arrested two other suspects involved in the staged abduction – Baruk Mailale and Nathaniel Bitrus – while effort is being intensified to arrest Aye, the third suspect.

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