By Evelyn Usman
LAGOS—Detectives at the Special Fraud Unit, SFU, Milverton, Ikoyi, Lagos, have arrested a 23-year-old suspected fraudster, who allegedly blackmails eminent personalities in the country through a website.
Some of his targets were Femi Odetola, Wale Tinubu and other high profile businessmen and women.
The suspect, Babatunde Oyebode, according to the unit, would write fictitious stories about his targets on the website (naijagistlife.com), accusing them of infidelity, as well as superimposing nude pictures on them.
Thereafter, he would allegedly demand for huge amount of money to lift the pictures from the site.
Vanguard gathered that Oyebode, a Senior Secondary Certificate Examination holder, was first arrested by the unit five months ago, for allegedly attempting to swindle Mr. Wale Tinubu, through the website.
The case was taken to the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, from where he was remanded at the Ikoyi prison for one month, with the case still pending in court.
However, he was arrested last Saturday by detectives, at his abode on 6th Avenue, Festac Town, in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, following three petitions against him.
One of the petitioners, a female lawyer, alleged that the suspect posted a story, saying she was sleeping around with men, including her boss, for money.
She alleged further that her supposed naked pictures were also posted.
The lawyer’s statement (names withheld), also alleged that the suspect demanded for N3.5 million to enable him remove the provocative pictures from the site.
Vanguard was equally informed that the pictures, which went viral, had caused the lady her job and her marriage.
The unit’s spokesperson, Mr. Lawal Audu, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, who confirmed the arrest, said that the first and second petitions were on threat to life and fraud.
I’m a web builder – Suspect
However, the suspect denied the allegation, describing himself as a web builder and admitted to have built naijagistlife.com for a blogger, whose identity he claimed not to know.
He said: “I have been building site since I was in secondary school. Someone contacted me online to build a website, naijagistlife.com, which I did. I did not see the person and I also did not have her contact.
“The money paid for the service was sent through a cab man. After designing, each website will have the name of the company that designed it and when you click on it, it will take you to my website.
“The person later contacted me, saying some people were hacking the website and that he needed web security services that would prevent people from hacking the website, which I did.
“But I was arrested in May over a petition by Wale Tinubu, that I demanded a huge amount of money from him, failure of which I would post a story against him. I was detained, charged to court and remanded at the Ikoyi Prison for one month.
“But Tinubu has not shown up in court since. I made a mistake for designing a web for a faceless person out of ignorance and also because I am a young chap and people make mistakes, anyway.”
The suspect, according to the unit’s public relations officer, would be charged to court today.