Two sisters, who are Canadian nationals of Indian descent, Kiranjot and Tara Matharoo, and a Nigerian, Babatunde Oyebade, were at the weekend remanded in prison custody by a Yaba, Lagos State Chief Magistrate court for blackmailing Nigeria billionaire and oil mogul, Femi Otedola, and his daughter, Florence, who is popularly known as DJ Cuppy, using a gossip website.
The accused were brought before Chief Magistrate A.O. Ojo on a four count charge bordering on blackmail, threat to kidnap and cyber-stalking.
They were said to members of a syndicate, which specialized in blackmailing and extorting money prominent Nigerians.
The accused, who were arrested by policemen attached to the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, were said to the owners of Naijagistlive.com, a gossip website which they have used in blackmailing and extorting huge sums of money in foreign currencies from several high profile politicians, including state governors, bankers, businessmen and musicians.
The sisters, who were alleged to be high-priced call girls operating from a suite in a popular five-star hotel at the Victoria Island area of Lagos, where they pay the sum of N178,000 per night, were said to have extorted $300,000 from a top politician from the North when they threatened to expose on the Internet nude pictures and videos of the politician having sexual intercourse.
Sources disclosed that the suspects usually contact their victims through internet calls and after several stalking and negotiations, make them pay the agreed amount of their demand using PayPal, an American online payment system.
It was gathered that the sisters and their Nigerian collaborator ran out of luck when they attempted to blackmail Otedola and DJ Cuppy.
They were said to have confronted Otedola with pictures and videos alleging that he was having extra marital affair with a popular Nigerian female musician and threatened to expose it on the Internet.
They also accused him of giving out his daughter to billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, to have fun with.
The development was said to have infuriated Otedola and he reported the matter to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who drafted in his operatives at the IRT to investigate the matter.
It was learnt that 43-year-old Oyebade, a web designer, was arrested first and he admitted to have designed naijagistlive.com, but told the police that he was unaware that the website was used for blackmailing, adding that he was contacted by someone he has never met before through his email to design the website.
He explained that payment for the designing of the website was brought to him through a taxi driver that he has never met before.
The taxi driver who delivered the money to Oyebade was trailed and arrested by the IRT operatives and he told the police that he was given the job to deliver the money and a phone number by a receptionist at the popular five-star hotel where the sisters reside.
The operatives were said to have swiftly moved into the hotel and found the receptionist who led them in arresting the sisters.
During interrogation, the sisters were said to have confessed to the crime, pleaded for mercy and also volunteered to shut down the website, with an undertaking not to engage in such act again.
When the suspects where brought before Yaba Chief Magistrate on a holding charge, the magistrate, who didn’t take their plea when their charges were read to them, granted a N500,000 bail to the accused, with two sureties in like sum.
The matter was adjourned to January 25, 2017 for further hearing.