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The Nigerian police recently took into custody a 19-year-old girl who had been impersonating popular musician Wizkid on social media for about 3 years. She had succeeded in defrauding unsuspecting fans of over $65,000 (about N12.9million)
The impersonator was identified as Ifeoma Nelly, a Chemistry student at Delta State University. She was nabbed and taken into custody thanks to the joint efforts of Wizkid’s manager, Mr. Sunday Are and the Lagos State Police. Nelly had reportedly arrived in Lagos to collect $25,000 from a bunch of Australians at a Lagos hotel trying to book Wizkid’s services for a show in Australia.
Nelly would pretend to be Wizkid or his managing team on social media and con people into thinking they were paying for a show Wizkid would perform or were paying outright for his services. Nelly who usually collects her payment electronically was desperate enough to show her face in Lagos because of the amount at stake. She was spotted by the policemen planted at the location with two friends – a guy and a girl. The minute she walked into the hotel, her friends were taken into custody.
Mr Are explained that she had been pulling her dubious stunts on Facebook. When asked if she had accomplices, she replied that she worked alone.
“She has collected money from different people. If you don’t have evidence against her, she would deny it. But if you show her evidence, she would tell you the truth. There was the case of the $53,000, which we had to refund to the owner. She confirmed that she was the one who collected it. There was another payment of $12,500 from Germany. The Germany people sent details of how they paid the money to her. She couldn’t deny it.”
Are also mentioned that thanks to the top notch impersonation by Nelly, Wizkid’s management had to refund some money to clients to avoid humiliation.
On this issue, Wizkid’s manager said
“We had been having problems with different clients because of this. We keep refunding all the money. It was an issue. When it became serious, we had to refund the money to victims. Some people will just go, write in papers that Wikzid disappointed them. They would say Wizkid and his manager collected money and didn’t come to perform.