By Evelyn Usman
Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS has arrested one Olufowoke Emmanuel, who threatened to post nude pictures of veteran Nigerian Singer, Queen Salewa Abeni, on social media.
The 19-year-old suspect, a National Diploma holder in Electrical Engineering, from the Yaba College of Technology, was apprehended at Brentfield Avenue, Peace Estate, Magboro, Ogun State, by the Decoy Team of RRS, last Thursday, after three days of monitoring him.
Abeni, had announced on her Instagram page, on April 1, 2020, how she received the text message from the suspect, threatening to post pictures of her nude on social media.
Her message read: “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, Lagos State Police Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu, had in the wake of the attempted blackmail, directed the Commander, RRS DCP Olatunji Disu to fish out the suspect.
After what was described as a technical diagnosis of the complaint, the Decoy Team reportedly narrowed down on the suspect a few days later but could reportedly not pick him because of the prevalence of COVID- 19.
In his confession, the suspect admitted to have sent Abeni the text message, with the intention of making some money.
He said, “I saw the nude pictures in a memory card which I picked up on the floor in Yabatech, sometime in November 2019. After downloading the nude photographs on my phone, I picked up her mobile number from her Instagram page.
“On April 1, 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 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 who was even cursing the blackmailer unknown to her that I was the brain behind it.
“I immediately sneaked out, destroyed the memory card, and threw my mobile phone and SIM card in a nearby wetland in Magboro. Since then, I never mentioned it (anything about the nude pictures) to anyone nor called Madam Salawa Abeni about it again”, he stated.
Commenting on the arrest, 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 also, advised guardians to monitor their wards, emphasizing that the internet was a fertile ground for opportunities but reminded that the Command would not allow criminals to use it as an avenue to exploit law-abiding Lagosians.