Nigerian Blogger Arrested By State Security Service
The State Security Service (SSS) on Sunday arrested Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe, an internet blogger (ukpakareports.com), for allegedly attempting to blackmail Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, a House of Representatives member representing Aniocha, Njikoka and Dunukofa Constituency in Anambra State.
According to our sources, Mr. Ezenekwe had gone to the home of Ekwunife to demand N6 million naira to stop a scandalous story about Mrs. Ekwunife that was published on Pointblanknews.com and Huhuonline.com. The story about how Mrs. Ekwunife was jumping from one political party into another was illustrated with a sex tape purported to be of Mrs. Ekwunife and some lovers.
Mr. Ezenekwe, who runs Ukpakareports.com, had contacted Mrs. Ekwunife’s aide, Emeka Igwilo demanding the House of Representatives member’s contact. When asked why, he said he was in possession of indecent pictures of Mrs. Ekwunife with male and female lovers.
When Mr. Ezenekwe was not making progress with the aide, he contacted Mrs. Ekwunife directly. He told her that he was a US-based lecturer in Nigeria to build his house. He said he could stop further circulation of the sex video hosted by Youtube and linked to a story published by Huhuonline.com and pointblanknews.com if Mrs. Ekwunife paid him the sum of six million naira.
Having contacted the police, who in turn contacted the SSS, Mrs. Ekwunife played along. She gave Mr. Ezenekwe the impression that he would get the money. The SSS arrested Ikenna Ezenekwe while he was waiting to be paid.
Mrs. Ekwunife, in a statement she sent to the SSS said that, Mr. Ezenekwe told her that Huhuonline.com management was demanding N6 million to pull the story and the video down. “The pointblanknews guy is waiting,” Mr. Ezenekwe texted Mrs. Ekwunife. He also to Mrs. Ekwunife that Pointblanknews has told the story to Huhuonline.
Investigation by Saharareporters revealed that Ikenna Ezenekwe and the owners of Pointblanknews.com and Huhuonline were having constant phone conversations as the blackmail was taking place. The SSS is looking at Ikenna Ezenekwe’s phone records and his laptop to determine the nature of the involvement of the owners of the two online sites.
The two websites have since pulled the story from their sites. They did not provide any explanation as to why they did that.
In separate statements published on their sites, Pointblanknews and Huhuonline denied being accomplices in the alleged crime. They claimed that Ikenna Ezenekwe approached them to take down the story and the video for a fee and they both rebuffed him. Pointblanknews called Ikenna Ezenekwe an impersonator.
Mrs. Ekwunife in the same statement to the SSS said that Ikenna Ezenekwe told her it was Dozie Nwankwo, an ACN candidate and her opponent in upcoming election, that was behind the blackmail. Mr. Ezenekwe also revealed that pointblanknews is sponsored by the Governor of Rivers state, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who is also the sponsor of Mr. Dozie Nwankwo.
This is not the first time that Ikenna Ezenekwe’s name had been associated with alleged blackmail. He was said to have duped Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra State of huge sums of money when he connived with a fake victim in a concocted erosion devastation news story created from pictures of events that happened in Nanka in 1973. He later shared the money donated by the government and concerned individuals with the so-called victim. He is also said to be involved in an attempt to extort money from the wife of Ikemba Nnewi, Binca Ojukwu.
According to SSS sources who spoke to Saharareporters, the agency is looking at other cases of blackmails involving Ikenna Ezenekwe and other online websites. “This incident has opened up a whole lot of cases,” our sources said. “People are now coming up to us to report incidents of threats and blackmails involving not just the online media but also print media.”
Saharareporters noticed that no newspaper in Nigeria seemed to have published the story online as of the time of going to press.
“By the time we are done, it will be a different media landscape,” our source concluded.
“Mr. Ezenekwe’s website has undergone quite some mutation from Nanka.org to Ogene Reports before again changing it to UkpakaReports and now 247ureports.com” according to Valentine Obieyem an aide to governor Peter Obi of Anambara state.