Police Bust Syndicate Operating Gistlover Blog, Apprehends 3 Suspects

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By Iyojo Ameh

The Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Center has successfully apprehended three individuals suspected to be the key operators behind the controversial microblogging platform, Gistlover.

The arrests were made following a petition filed by Doctor Mrs Seye Oladejo, which prompted the authorities to take action against the alleged culprits.

According to ACP Olumiyiwa Adejobi, the spokesperson for the command, the arrested suspects—identified as Adebukola Kolapo, Nnedum Micheal Somtomchukwu, and Isaac Akpokighe—are believed to be integral members of a syndicate known as Gistlover Family. This syndicate is alleged to be responsible for the day-to-day management and operations of the contentious Gistlover news site.

The suspects were publicly paraded at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Friday, as Adejobi highlighted the blog’s extensive history of engaging in cyberstalking, incitement, and blackmail, all of which have long been causes for public concern and outrage.

Adejobi’s statement shed light on the shocking revelations made by the arrested individuals during interrogation. “Upon their arrest, the suspects admitted to their varying degrees of involvement in the illicit activities, providing substantial evidence to support their claims,” Adejobi stated.

“Adebukola Kolapo, also known as Omo oba Gistlover, has been identified as the mastermind behind the creation of over 80 per cent of the Gistlover pages. He played a significant role in perpetrating criminal acts such as cyberstalking and blackmail against individuals, including Hon. and Dr. Mrs. Oluseyi Oladejo. Furthermore, Adebukola was found to be complicit in laundering money obtained through these illegal activities.”

The police further revealed the roles played by the other suspects, Nnedum Somtochukwu and Isaac Akpokighe, elucidating their contributions to the syndicate’s operations. Nnedum was allegedly involved in redirecting traffic to new pages whenever the platform faced sanctions, while Isaac imitated the Gistlover blog’s operations by creating multiple pages to replicate defamatory posts against notable Nigerians.

Adejobi emphasized that upon the conclusion of the investigation, the suspects would face legal charges for their alleged involvement in these criminal activities. The statement also warned against any form of support for platforms engaged in illegal activities akin to those carried out by Gistlover.

Commending the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Center, Inspector General of Police, IGP Olukayode Egbetokun, reaffirmed the Force’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of citizens in both the physical and digital realms.

He particularly acknowledged CP Uche Ifeanyi Henry’s leadership at the National Cybercrime Center for their relentless efforts in combating cyber-related crimes in the country.

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