The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a 44-year-old businessman, Amara Kennedy, for circulating nude photos of his former lovers.
Kennedy was arrested on Friday in the Oshodi area of the state after one of his victims, Kester, agreed to meet him under the pretext of resolving their disagreement.
Our correspondent had reported in a special feature on Sunday that two women, Kester and Temi, met Kennedy separately on different WhatsApp and Facebook chat groups for singles.
- $3.5m Geometric investment: Otti lied on Abia’s payment — Ikpeazu
- Messi scores 500th career league goal in big Inter Miami win
- Kelvin Amayo joins Rivers Hoopers for Basketball Africa League
- NFF holds CAF-approved D-Licence coaching course in Abuja
- Osimhen, Boniface on four-man Arsenal striker shortlist
Kester, who lost her husband about eight years ago in a car crash, said the banker turned businessman, after chatting her up, started showering her with monetary gifts.
However, after a disagreement, he sent her over 50 of her nude photos which he secretly took after their lovemaking in a hotel.
She said the Umunze, Anambra State indigene, demanded N100,000 from her as a condition to delete the photos.
The mother of two noted that after she sent the money and asked if the photos had been deleted, he demanded an additional N40,000 to delete them permanently, which she sent to him.
Despite the payments, the suspect went ahead to circulate the photos on Facebook.
Kester said she attempted suicide twice but failed, as some of those who saw the images started questioning her.
The second victim, Temi, said the suspect usually had marathon sex with her in hotels while under the influence of drugs, and afterwards gave her N1,000 as transport fares.
She noted that after she discovered that he was not serious about the relationship and was merely using her, she stopped talking to him.
However, Kennedy sent her several of her nude photos and demanded all the money he had spent on her in the relationship.
She said she borrowed N15,000, which she sent to him.
However, after she appealed to his sister on Facebook for help to talk to him, he started circulating the nude photos.
Temi said the businessman regularly called her to demand money.
After the report was published, the suspect on Monday threatened to continue to damage the reputation of the women for “spoiling my image.”
He then started sending the nude photos to their Facebook friends, family members, co-workers and church members.
Kennedy also sent the nude photos to Kester’s in-laws, vowing that “by the time I am done, suicide will be her only option.”
After a series of reports on his continued criminal act, the suspect on Thursday accused this reporter of being “a tribal bigot and an idiot”.
He poured expletives on the journalist, querying why he was “bent on destroying” him.
That night, Kester informed this reporter of a plan to lure Kennedy out of his hiding, saying she had agreed to resolve issues with him.
The peace meeting was mediated by a rights activist, Arike Adelodun.
On Friday morning, the day of the meeting, Adelodun called this reporter on the phone to say the suspect decried PUNCH’s continuous reports on the matter.
She said he wanted an assurance that the report would stop, as part of the conditions for the meeting, where he would delete all the nudes.
“I will call you back shortly and ask if you’re the one from PUNCH who has been writing the story. I will ask you to stop writing for the sake of Kester’s mental health. I will be very aggressive. Try to explain why you’re doing it, but I will shut you up. Just play along. He (Kennedy) will be added to the conference call. The purpose is for him to show up at the meeting,” she added.
After she called back, this reporter agreed to stop reporting on the matter pending when he would get feedback from the women “by the end of today”.
Our correspondent was told that Kennedy did not send the meeting location until around 7am on Friday; he fixed the meeting for 9am at an eatery at Oshodi.
Around 12 noon, the suspect was arrested.
Kester, who spoke to Saturday PUNCH on the phone, said she felt like “someone who just won a visa to Canada.”
“I feel excited; this has traumatised me so much. My daughters will see the mummy they have always known,” she added with a laugh.
Recalling the arrest, she said, “My friend who mediated created a group for me and Kennedy. We had a video call yesterday (Thursday) where he said he still had the (nude) pictures on his phones. He said we should meet somewhere so I could use my own hands to delete them. I agreed. We asked him to choose the location and time.
“However, when he saw your publication that day, he said I should reach an agreement with you to stop reporting. That was when you agreed to stop after everything had been settled.
“He gave us the location and address. The police had, however, got there even before we arrived. They were hanging around. They took my pictures and we sent his pictures to them. Kennedy came to the bus stop to pick me and my friend. A policeman was already in the eatery. As we were about to enter the eatery, the police arrested him.
“He then started begging the police officer to shoot him and let him die. The man refused. I then told him that the death he wished me, he would beg for it and would not see it.”
She said she was looking forward to the arraignment of the suspect.
The founder of a rights group, Black Diamonds Support Foundation, Defunke Adewunmi, commended the state Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, and the gender unit for providing support for the success of the sting operation.
“While I was talking to the victim and her friend whom we used to bait him, I was also speaking to the commander of the CP’s surveillance team. The suspect changed the venue three times before the surveillance team caught him.
“I am glad for the arrest. I hope the victims can eventually get closure and justice would be served as quickly as possible,” she added.
Adewunmi’s organisation provided support for the women while the suspect circulated their nudes.
She had said nine widows and three single mothers claimed the suspect blackmailed them.
Reacting to the arrest, the second victim, Temi, said, “I can say this is the happiest day of my life. I’ll finally have peace of mind. I just feel like going out for fresh air and to enjoy myself. I feel really relieved.
“For over a year now, he has been a threat to my life. Every day, once I see his message, my heart starts pounding. These past few days when he saw that the matter was in the media, he started tormenting me again for having the courage to speak.
“He had told us that nobody can catch him. We have been to different places for help. It’s either they are demanding money from us or giving excuses as if it’s not possible. This guy told us he had an anti-tracker on his phone, and truthfully, they had been tracking him for a long time. But he kept escaping. I believe with his arrest, more women will come out.”
She said the suspect’s action had damaged her business.
“I do online business and two of my customers no longer talk to me. I am in a Facebook group where single mothers get help. But he sent the nudes to one of the people there and they said if the group admin sees the nude, I would be removed,” she added.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the development after tweeting the suspect’s photo.
He noted that investigation was ongoing into the matter.