Justice Tijani Ringim of the Federal High Court in Lagos has remanded a suspected Internet scammer, Olukeye Olalekan, who specialises in defrauding foreigners by obtaining their nude photographs to blackmail them.
Olalekan was arraigned before Justice Ringim by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an 18-count charge of child pornography, money laundering and retention of proceeds of unlawful activities.
The EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), told the court that the defendant was arrested on August 4, 2023, in the Akute area of Ogun State, following intelligence received from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP.
Oyedepo also claimed that the defendant hacked into some social media accounts, posing as a young, attractive woman to entice unsuspecting victims and seeking their sexually explicit photographs, including the nude images of a 14-year-old Canadian boy.
He further told the court that the investigation revealed that the suspect later used the nude images of the 14-year-old to blackmail him, a situation that led to his death.
The lawyer also alleged that during a search conducted on his residence in Ilaro, Ogun State, by operatives of the anti-graft agency, a mobile phone with incriminating documents was recovered from him.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Olukeye Adedayo Olalekan (a.k.a hrm877, charlotte 708 and harlilott_716) on or about the 13th February, 2023 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court intentionally used the Instagram virtual network to create a group ” Expose Janjuarobin Nudes” to distribute child pornography and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 23(1) (c) and punishable under Section 23(1)(e) of the of Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act, 2015.”
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
Given his plea, Oyedepo urged the court for an accelerated trial and that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Centre.
He stated that “the international image of Nigeria is in jeopardy, as both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, and the FBI complained to Nigeria about this matter and how it relates to the sudden death of a 14-year-old minor.“
The defence counsel, Paul Onikoyin, informed the court that he had an application for bail on behalf of his client.
Responding, Oyedepo told the court that he had just been served the application and would need time to react.
Consequently, the Judge ordered that the defendant be remanded in a Correctional Centre and adjourned the matter till November 6 for the hearing of the motion for bail and commencement of the trial.