Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Lagos State Police Command, have arrested a 19-year-old National Diploma holder of the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos, for blackmailing popular artiste, Queen Salawa Abeni, with her nude photos.
The suspect, Olufowoke Oladunjoye Emmanuel, a resident of Ogun State, was picked up by the RSS last week Thursday after three days of monitoring him.
The 58-year-old music legend had recently went on social media to raise the alarm over plans to blackmail her with her nude photos. She posted her WhatsApp conversation with the suspect and the purported old photos he planned to use for the blackmail.
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Good morning my Family, friends and Fans. I have something very important to tell you and I will really appreciate your audience. I am very disappointed that someone somewhere will try to tarnish my image and threaten to destroy my career of over 45 years. This morning, I received messages from somebody threatening to expose very old pictures of me and in the process, blackmailing me for money. These could’ve been pictures of me in the hospital or even with my partner, but is this what has become of us?? I plead with everybody out there to be very careful as our current situation has made people very desperate. I am almost 60 years old, I have worked very hard and made a name for myself for somebody to believe that they can threaten and trample on my feelings, this is very sad. So I have decided to share the messages and pictures sent by this person with everyone for you all to see! Thank you and God bless you! For you the blackmailer, I refuse to be bullied by you as I’m sure that I’m old enough to be your MOTHER!!
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, was said to have in April 2020, directed the Commander, RRS, DCP Olatunji Disu, to fish out the blackmailer who was subsequently tracked down, but could not be picked immediately because of the prevalence of the COVID-19, adding that he was later arrested.
The suspect, in his statement to the police, allegedly confessed to the crime, saying he just wanted to extort money from the artiste.
The Electrical Engineering graduate, reportedly said he saw the nude pictures in a memory card he picked up on the floor in YABATECH in November 2019.
He added that after downloading the photographs on his phone, he got Abeni’s mobile number from her Instagram page.
“On 1st of April, 2020, I chatted her up and also called her after sending a few of the photos to her online. My intention was to negotiate with her for a few bucks and for me to destroy the photographs.
“I thought everything was going on fine until the following day when I heard the news of the blackmail over the radio.
“I was with my mother. She even cursed the blackmailer unknown to her that I was the one behind it.
“I immediately sneaked out, destroyed the memory card, and threw my mobile phone and SIM card into a nearby wetland in Magboro.
“Since then, I never mentioned it to anyone and called Madam Salawa Abeni about it again,” he said.
The Lagos CP, Odumosu, said no individual would be allowed to commit a crime in Lagos from any state or escape to other states in Nigeria to evade arrest.
He advised parents to monitor their children, emphasising that the Internet was a fertile ground for opportunities but the command would not allow criminals to use it to exploit law-abiding residents.