BY IFEANYI OKOLIE
LAGOS—The Holy Order of Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church, has said the nude photo of their District Chairman, Idimu sub headquarters, Lagos State, Apostle Timothy Adewoye, which went viral recently on the Internet, was meant to blackmail the Apostle.
Senior Apostle Abimbola Esuola, who briefed newsmen in Lagos, said the 80‑year‑old man was attacked by four men who stripped him naked, took his nude photos in the home of one of a female church member whom he went to pray for.
His attackers were said to have demanded N10 million from him and threatened to publish his nude photos on the Internet if he did not cooperate.
Esuola added that the octogenarian, after pressure, paid N2.150 million to the blackmailers who kept on asking for more.
According to her, “when the pressure became unbearable, Adewoye told his secretary what he was passing through and the secretary mobilised other members of the church and reported the matter at Idimu police station. The police already had a case against a female church member identified as Sherifat Balogun. The suspects were said to have also blackmailed a prominent banker the same way.
When the detectives went to pick up the suspects, three of them, including Balogun’s husband fled. They are yet to be apprehended and only Sherifat Balogun and Makanjuola Olagunja were arrested.”
Charged to court
The police, yesterday, filed charges against Balogun and Olagunja in suit No. MM/E/7/2014. Olagunja, 50, and Balogun, 54, both of Akowonjo area of Lagos State, are facing a six‑count charge of conspiracy, assault, threatening violence, obtaining money under false pretence and stealing.
The Ejigbo magistrate’s court in Lagos State, where the case is being heard, remanded Balogun and Olagunja in prison for blackmail.
The prosecutor, ASP Nicholas Atumonye, told the court that the accused committed the offence on November 13, 2013 at 11, Shagari Estate, Ipaja, a suburb of Lagos State.
Atumonye said the accused conspired with others now at large to assault one Prophet Adewoye by forcefully pulling off his clothes and taking nude photographs of him.
He said the accused threatened to publish the nude pictures of the prophet and unlawfully obtained N2.150 million from him to prevent the publication of the pictures.
The prosecutor said the accused also threatened the life of their victim by making several phone calls demanding for money.
He said the offences contravened Sections 56, 170, 285, 312 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. Section 312 stipulates 15 years imprisonment for convicted offenders.
The accused, however, denied the charges. The prosecutor objected to bail for the accused on the grounds that several members of their gang had not been arrested. The Magistrate, Mrs. M.B. Folami, adjourned the case till February 14 to consider the request of the accused for bail.