Ruggedman denies having a hand in the arrest of Naira Marley, Zlatan Ibile

Rap lyricist Ruggedman has denied having a hand in the arrest of Afeez Fashola aka Naira Marley, Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael aka Zlatan Ibile, Tiamiu Abdulrahman Kayode aka Rahman Jago and two others for an alleged case of internet fraud and money laundering.

In a post on his verified social media account, Ruggedman disclosed that he is in no way responsible for Naira Marley’s arrest after it was speculated in some quarters that he may have had a hand in the ordeal being faced by the fast-rising rapper in the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The rapper stated that he is surprised that many are pointing accusing fingers at him and blaming him over the arrest, after Naira Marley glorified fraud on a public platform where all security agencies have access to.

Ruggedman wrote; “My fellow Nigerians and the Distinguished members of the Press,

“I have read and heard all sorts of comments pertaining to the Naira Marley case and seen the misinformation making the rounds which is quite unfortunate to say the least.

“I do not know Naira Marley personally, the same way I do not know the over 300 Nigerians I have gotten justice for against police brutality. I do it because it is who I am.

“All I did was caution a young artist, who has influence, against making utterances about an issue that by global standard is considered a crime. I believe correcting this was the way to go as an elder, but got insulted for this even by those being misled.

“I never responded to Naira Marley’s invectives nor those of his fans, same way I have not responded to any of the negative comments from social media.

“I note that saying I was “happy in a way” about his arrest has evidently frayed some nerves and for that I apologise. It was in hope that it would serve as deterrent for persons who might consider the said ills or need to make a u-turn. It by no means was intended to wish for his downfall. It perhaps was not a good choice of word in hindsight. I do not look forward to anyone’s downfall but rather hope we all learn from the situation.

“I hereby state categorically that I had nothing to do with his arrest. We all must recall that he glorified fraud on a public platform where security agencies like the Police, NDLEA and EFCC are also on. I am sure they saw his posts and captions the same way we all did. I, however, was the one that cautioned him. I guess this was what led all the darts and arrows my way as a literal mortal retribution to my person.

“Despite the disrespect to my person, I got nothing against him and only longed for him to be discerning and utilise his position of influence appropriately.

“May God bless you all and yes that includes those wishing me evil and threatening me. Nothing will change who I am and I will keep you all in my prayers.

Meanwhile, the EFCC’s acting Head, Media and Publicity, Tony Orilade, in a statement on Sunday said the anti-graft agency plans to use information volunteered by the suspects to charge them to court. And that, until then, they will remain in detention.

Recall that Orilade, in an earlier statement issued last Friday, said the suspects were picked up in “connection with alleged case of internet fraud and money laundering.

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