The Jos-based pastor, Albarka Bitrus, who was arrested by the police on Wednesday, has explained why he staged his kidnapping and collected ransom from members of his church.
It was reported on Thursday that the police in Plateau State said they arrested the pastor following a “vigorous investigation” that cast suspicion on him.
The police said Pastor Albarka, of ECWA Church Jos, had on several occasions staged his kidnapping and collected ransom, in collaboration with a gang to commit the crime.
Speaking at the headquarters of the command, the accused said he staged his kidnapping due to financial challenges he was facing but that he regretted his action.
“I put myself into these activities because of the financial challenges I am facing. When I did the first one, I felt guilty. When I went out, the money with me got finished. I was thinking of coming back. I was just confused. That is why I did the second one. I am regretting my action,” he said.
When asked why he burnt the vehicle of his senior pastor, the accused 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.’’
According to the police, the suspect had collected the sum of N400,000 on November 14, 2022, and on November 30, he staged another kidnapping of himself and collected the sum of N200,000 from his sympathizers, who are members of his church.