Last year, two Canadian sisters, Jyoti and Kiran Matharoo were arrested and charged with blackmail, extortion, and cyberbullying billionaire, Femi Otedola through a blog, Naija Gist Live.
The blog, which has now been taken down was said to have threatened the billionaire.
Following their arrest, the sisters made a video apologizing to everyone they had blackmailed, including the Otedola family, explaining that their intention was not to hurt or extort anyone.
In an interview with CTV News Toronto, the sisters, who have now returned to their country, denied being the brains behind the blog, adding that the video they made was in return for their passports.
The sisters believe that they were scapegoats by the Nigerian authorities, who wanted to cover-up a “national embarrassment” involving a person with “power and money.”
The sisters narrated that while settling in at their hotel few days after they arrived in Nigeria to spend the holidays, they heard a knock on their door.
On opening the door, some police officers barged into their room, snatched their phones out of their hands and demanded to know their connection to the gossip blog.
Kiran explained that they had been targets of different blogs who wrote false stories about them and called them names like “prostitutes, escorts, gold diggers,” while always trying to guess who they know, who they don’t know, what they were doing and where they are.
The sisters explained that they were scared of being kidnapped as the officers were not on uniforms.
“At this point, I was yelling and saying, ‘Show me an arrest warrant, show me something with my name on it, but, they didn’t have any identification. It was scary. It’s hard to relive it. We just thought we were going to be questioned and we could say that we wanted our lawyer and that they’d just let us go. That never happened.”
After eight hours, they said they were freed without much explanation and then placed under police protection at a new hotel near the airport. A few days later, the women claimed they were told to record the apology video.
The women said they were offered a deal in exchange for their freedom to admit to running the blog and damaging the reputation of Otedola and they would be given their passports and let them go.
The sisters said that their lavish lifestyle on social media led some to question them, but they have never blackmailed or extorted anyone, despite dating some of Nigeria’s wealthiest men.
“I think just dating someone in the oil and gas sector you get more opportunities to travel a bit more, you get to do things maybe you wouldn’t have done. The way the media reported it, they called us sex workers, prostitutes…I’ve never done anything like that. I’ve never blackmailed anyone, never extorted anyone. I think the stain on our reputation will never be cleared.”
The case against the sisters returns to court on May 22. However, the women said they have no intention of returning back to Nigeria.