A 26-year-old man, Caleb Nzube, was arrested by the Inspector General of Police Monitoring Team, with the help of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) for blackmail. He allegedly hacked into the social media page of one of the wives of the late Nigerian politician, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, Mrs. Timu Alade Abiola. Caleb demanded and was almost successful with collecting N1.5 million from Mrs Timu Alade Abiola when he was fished out and arrested at his hideout in Obosi, Anambra state.
In a statement by the police, Nzube hacked into the Twitter handle of his victim and posted a photoshopped picture of her carrying a human skull. He contacted her and threatened to expose the page to the world if she did not comply to his demands. He also created a website and threatened to expose the web page unless she pays him $5,000, 1.5 million in Naira equivalent.
During his confession, the suspect said:
I started following Mrs. Timu Alade Abiola on Twitter. I got her pictures. I felt she was a good catch and I decided to blackmail her. I used ‘photoshop’ to make her look like she was carrying a human skull.
I designed a web page with a little gossip story on it that she was caught for ritual. I sent her the link and when she saw it, I demanded she pay me $5,000 or I would show it to the whole world.
One of her friends came in and begged that I shouldn’t do it, that they were ready to pay me $2,000. I rejected the money. I insisted that I must collect the amount I demanded.
Later they discovered I was Igbo and gave my number to an Igbo girl who started talking to me. I accepted their offer. What got me angry was that while we were still talking, they sent a fishing link that destroyed my website which I had been maintaining for more than four years. That website paid me the little money I used in sustaining myself.
I told the Igbo girl about it and told her that if I don’t get the money before the end of the week, I will show the web page to the whole world. She asked for my account, I gave it to her but before I knew what was happening, the police came and arrested me.
Unknown to Nzube, Mrs. Abiola had written a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, on the blackmail and the IG drafted his team to track him down and arrest him. According to the internet fraudster, Mrs Abiola is not the only one he has blackmailed. He confessed to have blackmailed a senator as well as other prominent Nigerians.
I specialized in online dating, but I later ventured into blackmail. I felt it was more lucrative. I normally spend hours on the social media, searching for prominent Nigerians.
My targets are mainly rich politicians, popular businessmen and socialites. I go after these people because I believe they are more sensitive to what is being said about them in public.
I don’t understand why she had to bring in the police. I told the Igbo girl that what I needed was for her to tell her madam to just pay me for my website they destroyed.
In fact, I regret all this. If I had known it would be this messy, I would not have ventured into this. What I do is only dating. I just wanted to try my luck.
Luck was obviously not on Caleb’s side in this mission. High net-worth individuals in Nigerians should take Mrs Abiola’s experience as caution on how they flaunt their wealth on social media. You never know who is watching or who is plotting to rip you off.