The suspects, two men and a young girl are being interrogated at the Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) of the Lagos State police command, headed by top detective, CSP Vera Akpa.
The leader of the gang had opened an Instagram page on the social media with Sunny Ade’s name, advertising that KSA would want to assist interested people to travel on music tours to Europe, America and Asia.
The gang leader, Oyedekun, a.k.a. Law also wrote on the Instagram page that those who were interested in the tour should pay from N50,000 to N100,000, pending their area of interest.
A senior police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity, as he was not supposed to speak to newsmen, said: “Just like magic, people began to pay money into the accounts the syndicate provided. They provided two different accounts. Because KSA is a well-known and reliable musician, people started paying and the syndicate was withdrawing the money daily and promising to contact the victims as at when due.
“Shortly after, those close to the revered musician notified him of the development. Some of his fans and close associates started thanking him for trying to assist the youths. KSA now raised the alarm that people were using his name to swindle innocent citizens and quickly reported the matter to the police at SIB where our operatives tracked the suspects to Ibadan and Oyo town in Oyo State. They were arrested and the sum of N95,000 was recovered from the suspects since they were withdrawing the lodgment daily.”
KSA, who said he was embarrassed by the development, thanked members of the public who called his attention to the scam and equally thanked the police for their quick action in arresting the suspects. He appealed to the police to make sure that they recover all the stolen money and return same to the rightful owners:“I understand the sorrow the victims are going through, please recover the money and give it back to the rightful owners. I equally want to appeal to the youths to shun advance fee fraud in all guise. Crime does not pay. Rather than exert their energies on evil, the youths should discover their potential and talents.
“I did not learn how to play music or attended any music school, I just felt that I could do it and I tried and all is now history. I was doing menial jobs and not stealing to survive before I delved into music. Crime does not pay, if the police do not arrest you, the people you swindled or robbed will rain curses on you and the curse will remain effective from generations to generations.”
Continuing, he said: “People should also be wary of offers on the social media. Ask questions and confirm the source before transacting business with people you do not know. Parents, schools, religious leaders and traditional rulers should preach the evil of fraud. The government and well-meaning Nigerians should start serious advocacy about the danger of crime.
The youths are our future leader, if we don’t train them well, the future is gone. As for me, I will start serious enlightenment campaign on the evil of crime.”
Leader of the syndicate, Oyedekun, who exonerated his alleged accomplices, said: “I was responsible for the crime. I was arrested for using King Sunny Ade’s name to swindle people. I opened an Instagram page and told people that I was Sunny Ade and that I needed to assist the youths to travel abroad. I just tried it and it worked. I collected about N3.5 million. The money was not coming big. Some would pay half and promise to pay the balance later.
“As for the two persons arrested with me, they did not know what I was doing. The girl, Rebecca is my girlfriend. The other guy is my friend. Their sin was that I used their account numbers to do the transactions. I am a blogger, so I lied to them that my back account had a problem and that I needed their bank accounts to collect money for adverts in my blog. They would alert me when victims pay into their accounts and I would use their ATM to withdraw the money. I used to give them small tips. I am really sorry for the embarrassment I have caused them,” he said.
However, the police have vowed to recover the loots and return them back to their owners while they have vowed to charge the suspects to the court.