A Jos-based pastor, Albarka Bitrus, has been arrested by operatives of the Plateau State Police Command for burning two cars and a bicycle belonging to other clerics whom he claimed hated him.
The spokesman for the command, Alabo Alfred, in a statement on Wednesday, said Bitrus disclosed that on January 4, 2023, he set ablaze 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 organising his own kidnap and demanding ransom from members of his congregation.
“The Plateau State Police Command has again uncovered the nefarious acts of one Pastor Albarka Bitrus Sukuya of Jenta Apata, Jos, who on several occasions staged his kidnap with his cohorts and received ransom from sympathising members of his congregation.
“Sequel to his spurious kidnaps of November 14, 2022, and November 30, 2022, when the sums of N400,000 and N200,000 were respectively paid by his sympathisers as ransom for his release, the incidents triggered suspicion.
“Through credible intelligence, the cleric was invited by the DPO, Nassarawa Gwong Police Station, CSP Musa Hassan, and investigation commenced immediately. In the course of investigation, it was established that the suspect had been conspiring with his gang to stage his kidnap and fraudulently collecting ransom.
“On interrogation, the suspect confessed to have committed the crime and mentioned the following persons as his accomplices: Baruk Mailale, Nathaniel Bitrus, and Aye (surname unknown),” the statement added.
The police said two of the accomplices, Mailale and Bitrus, were arrested, while effort was ongoing to arrest Aye.