The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has formally arraigned Olalekan Olukeye, a suspect facing 18 counts related to child pornography, money laundering, and the retention of proceeds from illegal activities.
According to a statement released on September 30 by Dele Oyewale, the acting Head of Media and Publicity for the anti-graft agency, Olukeye appeared before Justice Tijani Ringim of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos on September 29.
One of the charges states:
“You, Olukeye Adedayo Olalekan (a.k.a hrm877, charlotte 708 and harlilott_716) intentionally utilized the Instagram virtual network on or around February 13, 2023, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, to establish a group titled ‘Expose Janjuarobin Nudes’ for the purpose of distributing child pornography, thereby committing an offense contrary to Section 23(1) (c) and punishable under Section 23(1)(e) of the of Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act, 2015.”
Olukeye pleaded “not guilty” to the charges brought against him. In response, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, requested an expedited trial and the remand of the defendant in a Correctional Centre.
While urging for a swift resolution of the case, Oyedepo emphasized the potential harm to Nigeria’s international reputation, as both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the FBI have expressed concerns over the matter and its connection to the tragic death of a 14-year-old minor.
The defendant’s counsel, P.O Onikoyin, informed the court of an upcoming bail application on behalf of his client.
In response, Oyedepo informed the court that he had recently received the application and requested time to provide a response. Consequently, the Judge ordered the defendant to be remanded in a Correctional Centre and scheduled the next court dates for November 6 and 9, 2023, for hearing motions and the commencement of the trial.
The EFCC apprehended the suspect on August 4, 2023, in the Akute area of Ogun State, following intelligence received from the RCMP. It is alleged that Olukeye hacked into various social media accounts, assuming the persona of an attractive young woman to lure unsuspecting victims and solicit sexually explicit photographs, including nude images of a 14-year-old Canadian boy.
Further investigation revealed that the suspect subsequently used the explicit images to blackmail the minor, resulting in his untimely demise.
During a search conducted at Olukeye’s residence in Ilaro, Ogun State, EFCC operatives discovered a mobile phone containing incriminating documents.