The Ondo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force said on Friday it had arrested three siblings and one other, suspected to have kidnapped a six-year-old daughter of their church member.
The News Agency of Nigeria, reports that the siblings – Joy Ramond, 19, Peace Ramond, 24, and Ayomide Ramond, 16, as well as their suspected accomplice, Akinseye Oluwayomi, 18, are members of the same church in Oba-Ile, Akure.
Parents of the kidnapped girl attend the same church.
Mr Femi Joseph, the command’s Public Relations Officer, who paraded the suspects in Akure, said that they were arrested in the Ondo capital by the command’s anti-kidnapping outfit.
According to him, one Afolabi Oladapo of Sunshine Garden, Oba-Ile, Akure, reported the matter on November 21.
“Oladapo reported that his daughter, Jamama, aged six, was kidnapped during church service by unknown people.
“Jamama was released on November 22, after the payment of N720,000 by the father of the victim.
“Shortly after the payment of the ransom, a team from our anti-kidnapping outfit stormed the venue where the ransom was paid and arrested the four suspects who were digging out the money that had been buried in an uncompleted building.”
The Police spokesman presented the money as an exhibit.
He said that the suspects had confessed to the crime and would be arraigned after a thorough investigation.
Speaking to newsmen, Joy, one of the siblings, confirmed that the victim was a daughter of their church member, but claimed that they took her home “to warn and scare her, and not to kidnap her”.
“I have always seen the girl running out of the Kingdom Hall whenever we are having our meeting; that day, I was coming from my workplace and saw her outside the hall around 7pm.
“I asked her where she was going to, and warned her to be careful so as not to be kidnapped.
“I later decided to take her home from where I called the parents to inform them that the girl was with me.
“That particular night I could not reach the parents on phone, but I got them the next morning and the mother came to pick the girl.
“I decided to scare her because I learned that she is the only girl in the family and was being pampered by the parents. I kept her to scare her so as to discourage her from straying,” she said.
Joy, however, said that she did not know anything about the money paid as ransom.
“It may be another person that called them and fabricated the kidnap story so as to dupe them,” she claimed.