Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, Lagos State Police Command, have arrested a 19-year-old National Diploma holder of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, for attempting to blackmail popular artiste, Salawa Abeni.
The suspect, Olufowoke Emmanuel, a resident of Brentfield Avenue, Peace Estate, Magboro, Ogun State, was picked up by the decoy team of the RRS last Thursday.
The police were said to have been on Emmanuel’s trail for three days.
The artiste recently went on the social media to raise the alarm over the attempt 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.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, was said to have in April directed the Commander of the RRS, DCP Olatunji Disu, to fish out the blackmailer.
After technical analysis of the complaint, the decoy team was said to have narrowed down on Emmanuel.
The police said Emmanuel 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 wanted to extort money from the Waka music artiste.
The electrical engineering OND holder reportedly said he saw the nude pictures on a memory card he picked up on the floor at Yabatech in November 2019.
He added that after downloading the photographs on his phone, he got Abeni’s mobile number from her Instagram page.
He reportedly stated, “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 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 on the radio.
“I was with my mother. She even cursed the blackmailer, unknown to her that I was the brains behind it.
“I immediately sneaked out, destroyed the memory card and threw my mobile phone and SIM card into a nearby wetland in Magboro.
“After that, I never mentioned it to anyone or call Madam Salawa Abeni again.”
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.
The CP 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.