By Funmi Ogundare
The Akin Fadeyi Foundation (FlagIT) has busted a group of students of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) blackmailing young girls who fall victim of sharing their nudes with them on the social media.
Founder and Executive Director of the foundation, Mr. Akin Fadeyi said during a virtual press briefing yesterday that the foundation got report of the blackmail and extortion through its Flag It App created for members of the public to report corrupt, decadent and Gender Based violence cases to the Foundation.
Fadeyi said in collaboration with the authorities of ABUAD, the Foundation was able to unmask the students behind the cartel and charge them to court.
They are: Ofoyeno David Junior, a 300-Level student of Media and Communications and the kingpin; Omokolade Israel Aiyedogbon, a recent graduate of the university; Darlington Emojeya, 300-Level Engineering student; and Oyedele Adeolu Akinsola, a 300-Level student of Political Science.
Their modus operandi before they were rounded up by the management of the institution in conjunction with FlagIT, was creating a WhatsApp group tagged ‘Anonymous’, to lure unsuspecting female students to send their nude pictures for a beauty pageant.
Once David Ofoeyeno, who is said to be the kingpin of the gang gets hold of the nude pictures of the girls, he would start threatening them to part with various sums of money ranging from N25,000 to N50,000 or an option of posting the pictures on social media.
According to Fadeyi, “We received a report on our App in May 27, that some students of ABUAD have been luring some girls to become their girlfriends and once they secure their trust, they made them send their nude pictures. After a month or two, these boys will start blackmailing them to send some money to them or send their pictures to social media.”
He regretted that many girls had fallen prey to the blackmail, adding that one of the victims who was on the verge of committing suicide had alerted the foundation.
Fadeyi said the foundation had written a petition to the office of the wife of the Ekiti State government, Erelu Bisi Fayemi and the Inspector General of Police, to enable it uncover the gang.
He said from investigation, the gang leader had disclosed how he had used a fictitious name to open an account in Access Bank with no BVN to collect money from victims.
“A victim notified us of how the gang had demanded sums of money ranging from N25,000 to N50,000 between June and October and paid into the account. The victim was downcast as she kept getting various threats from the gang.”
The Students’ Affairs Officer, ABUAD, Mr. Babatunde Wahab who emphasised on the issue said his office received a petition from the Office of the first lady of Ekiti State on August 20 and started investigation immediately and also petitioned the Inspector General of Police.
He said after a thorough investigation, they got evidences on the number of girls who were blackmailed and how the gang built a fake profile to lure the girls, adding that the case is already in court.
He alleged that the mother of the gang leader, Mrs. Ofoeyeno had been calling the parents of victims to victimise them, and that her son has been feigning sickness in the last one month.
“The boys procured foreign numbers on Nigerian soil and that was why we had to involve the Interpol and State Intelligence Bereau (SIB). The case has been adjourned till December 10. The cost of securing justice in Nigeria, is beyond the common man,” he said.