The Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Centre has arrested the owner of the Gistlover blog and two other persons for conspiracy, cyberstalking, a threat to life, and blackmailing schemes operating in the guise of microblogging pages.
Their arrest by the police followed a petition to the police by Hon and Doctor Mrs. Seye Oladejo.
The trio was picked up by the force in an onward fight against the menace of these actions.
Parading the suspects at the Force Headquarters on Friday, the Public Relations Officer of the force, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi gave the names of the suspects, all males as Adebukola Kolapo Nnedum Micheal Somtomchukwu and Isaac Akpokighe.
According to ACP Adejobi, the suspects who are all aged 27, 25, and 30 respectively are members of a syndicate called the Gistlover family, responsible for the daily running of the Gistlover blog, a microblogging platform known for Cyberstalking, incitement, Blackmail, and sundry, which has “over the years been a course for public outcry.”
He said upon arrest, the suspects revealed their various degrees of involvement in the conspiracy, “corroborating the already available overwhelming evidence.”
The force spokesman said, “The first suspect, Adebukola Kolapo a.k.a Omo oba Gistlover was responsible for the creation of over 80 percent of the Gistlover pages thereby lending his digital footprint for the perpetration of the aforementioned criminal act. Being on the payroll of the said platform and having enjoyed incentives like car gifts and monies, Adebukola was saddled with the responsibility of scouting, editing, and captioning content including the cyberstalking post made against the complainant, Hon., and Dr. Mrs Oluseyi Oladejo. Adebukola has also contributed to laundering monies gotten from the illegal scheme through various means.
“In more developments, digital Forensic analysis led to the recovery of eight (8) gist lover pages created on the instruction of the head of the syndicate by Adebukola, and wallet addresses used in laundering these monies.
“The second suspect, one Nnedum Somtochukwu also shared in the conspiracy wherein at every point the page was taken down for certain infractions and violations of policies at the instance of reports from Law Enforcement Agencies, the suspect using his platform will by all means redirect traffic to the new page, helping the blog to evade sanctions.
“Enjoying incentives like referrals for promotions from the head of the syndicate, Nnedum has also been found sharing content, feedback, and making defamatory remarks with the said head of the syndicate.
“The third suspect, Isaac Akpokighe, a 30 years old male resident of Igando Lagos State unlike the duo above, is like hundreds of Nigerians whom having observed the lucrative nature of the Blackmailing, cyberstalking, and false information market, decides to imitate the Gistlover blog. By so doing, he created several such pages and mirrors the activities of the blog including reposting the defamatory and life-threatening post against the complainant and many other notable Nigerians. Digital forensics led to the recovery of four gistlover pages created by Isaac Apkokogho.”
The force image maker further said the suspects will be charged in court upon the conclusion of the investigation.
He conveyed the warning of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun against all sorts of partnerships that promote the illegal activities of the gistlover blog and others engaging in similar activities.
The police boss commended the Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Center led by CP Uche Ifeanyi Henry and reaffirmed the commitment of the force to ensuring the safety of citizens in the physical and digital space.