By Esther Onyegbula
Three suspected internet fraudsters that allegedly impersonated music maestro, King Sunny Ade, and fleeced unsuspecting members of the public of over N3.1 million have been arrested by the police in Lagos.
The suspects, Lawrence Femi, 27, his girlfriend, Rebecca Oyebode, 23 and Oyewumi Abiodun, 27, were arrested by detectives attached to Special Intelligence Bureau, SIB, after King Sunny Ade made an official complain to the Commissioner of Police that some persons were using his identity to defraud innocent Nigerians.
It was learned that the suspects created a King Sunny Ade fan page on Instagram, which they used to make fake advert placement entitled KSA USA TOUR. They requested interested persons to contact them.
Police sources said based on that, some people started paying money to them and over 55 persons paid to the fraudsters, adding that they were offering USA visa.
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The source said the unsuspecting members of the public paid various sums of money into a given account with a second generation bank.
The source said: “Their arrest was carried out with the tracking of the bank account and detectives were able to get the girl, whose name was used to open the account.
“She explained that it was her boyfriend that opened the account with her name and that he was with the ATM card. She led detectives to the suspect in Oyo State and they were all rounded up.“
Sunny Ade reacts
The victim, Sunny Ade, told Vanguard at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters, Ikeja when he visited to thank the police for a job well done that he knew about the scam when people started calling his phone number to say that they have paid the money into his account.
He said: “They will say they are this and they got paid for visa. When it was getting too much for me, I had to invite the police to trace those behind the impersonation, so that my name would be cleared and people would know that I am not the person defrauding them.
“I have never done anything like that in my life and career. I am a law-abiding citizen of this country. So, I had to call the police to come and help me.”
On how he felt when he heard that his name was being used to commit fraud, he stated: “It was like someone loading a gun in your presence and corking it. I advise the police to help me recover all the money got from all the victims and refund it to them.
Advice for youths
” This is what I have been saying for a long time now; the youth should not be too ambitious in getting things that don’t belong to them.
“Again, they need to have the fear of God in their heart and the fear of the nation and the law. Eventually, when you are doing things that are wrong, you will have to pay for it. Someone who has been doing business legitimately and you take advantage of their image to fleece victims of their hard earned money.
“This is not a matter of album; it is going to be more than an album. It is not only youths alone, we have to work with the family by way of educating them that they shouldn’t allow their kids to act as they like.
“I plead with the federal, state and local government agencies to join hands and put an end to this menace. So far, I am satisfied with the police investigation.”
The main suspect, 27-year-old Oyedokun Lawrence Femi said: “I was arrested because I impersonated King Sunny Ade. I did that by creating a fan page with his name and pictures sometime last year. Early this year, I posted something on Instagram about KSA USA TOUR. I just posted it to make money.