…As Top actress, Toyin Abraham Exposes how her latest movie, ‘Malaika’ was pirated, Commends Police For Suspects Arrest

Popular actress, Mrs. Toyin Abraham Ajeyemi, on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, narrated how her yet-to-be released movie titled, ‘Malaika’ was pirated by a syndicate.

She revealed her satisfaction on how the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID Annex), Alagbon, Lagos State, has gone after the syndicate and made some arrests immediately the criminal complaint was brought to the police .

Mrs Abraham said her fight against piracy was not for her family alone but in the interest of her colleagues who work day and night with nothing to show for it.

The Annex also paraded some suspects and displayed some exhibits recovered from them.

Briefing journalists on behalf of the Assistant Inspector General, AIG Idowu Owohunwa, the spokesperson said the FCID (Annex), has in recent weeks investigated and successfully cracked a number of high-profile criminal cases, some of which are of public and internal security interests.

She said, “On the 11th of January, 2024 a criminal complaint was lodged by popular actress, Mrs. Toyin Abraham and Seun Olayemi, the co-producers of a movie titled ‘Malaika’.

“The petitioners alleged that some elements believed to include one Kehinde Iyanda and had criminally pirated their latest movie which was originally released for cinema viewing only on the 21st December 2023.

“It was alleged that the elements unlawfully and fraudulently accessed the movie, uploaded it on their website and created a streaming weblink for their social media followers worldwide to freely view the movie, thereby infringing on their intellectual rights and denying them of their movie profits while unlawfully profiting from therefrom.

“Following the receipt of the petition, a joint investigation involving the Special Investigation Units of the Anti-Fraud and Cybercrime Sections of the Department was launched, while the unique intelligence and cybercrime assets of the Force were optimally deployed.

“Through these initiatives, the websites of origin of the crime were narrowed down to which was registered, owned and operated by one Lagos-based Kehinde Iyanda and owned and maintained by one Ogun State -based Adekunle Segun.

“Follow up coordinated actions by crack detectives on the case led to the apprehension of Kehinde Iyanda, the principal suspect and following the execution of a search warrant at his residence, a laptop, two phones and some certificates of business registration of companies linked to his offensive website and criminal activities were recovered.

During investigation, he indicated that the website which he utilized for the online piracy was designed for him for that purpose by Sodiq Adebiyi and that he has been receiving technical support from him in administering it.

“He additionally acknowledged that the website was, as alleged, utilized to pirate several movies including the ‘Malaika’ movie as alleged by the complainants. He claimed to be a contract staff at Eco Bank Plc, Orile –Iganmu and identified one Adebiyi Sodiq and Sodiq Oseni Akano as his co-conspirators in the perfection of the crime.

Follow-up investigation also indicated that Adebiyi Sodiq also owns and operate his own independent streaming platform identified as which he also utilized for advancing similar cybercrimes including the online piracy and unlawful broadcast of ‘Malaika’ of Toyin Abraham and the blockbuster Funke Akindele’s movie entitled ‘A Tribe Called Judah’. Indeed, Funke Akindele had earlier reported the crime against the suspect at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Lagos State Police Command and a consolidated investigation is, accordingly, being undertaken by this Department.

“On the strength of these pieces of allegations, detectives from this Department arrested Adebiyi Sodiq in Osogbo, Osun State. It is pertinent to mention that during his arrest, and as part of well-orchestrated actions directed at covering up his criminal signature, Adebiyi Sodiq conspired with his mother, Mrs Adebiyi Suliat to remove and hide the laptop he utilized in perfecting the crime in an effort to conceal vital electronic evidence and frustrate conclusive and credible police investigation.

“Drawing on their rich experiences in the investigation of cases of this nature, and supported by intelligence actions, detectives arrested the said Adebiyi Suliat and recovered the concealed laptop from her custody. Also recovered directly from his suspect son, Adebiyi Sodiq were two mobile phones both of which were linked to his criminal activities aside the laptop computer.”

Some other recent breakthroughs recorded by the Annex as mentioned by the spokesperson include the arrest of two lovers, “… one Agboola Sadiat Motunrayo, girlfriend of Adebiyi Sodiq was also arrested for frustrating police investigation by consistently passing information on police investigative actions that are directed at arresting Sodiq Oseni Akano to him, thereby aiding him to evade police arrest.

“While both Mrs Adebiyi Suliat and Agboola Motunrayo are being arrested and will be prosecuted for being accessories after the fact of a crime, arrangements are being perfected to declare Sodiq Oseni Akano wanted, should he fail to voluntarily submit himself.

“Also arrested in the investigation process is Adekunle Segun, the owner, promoter, and administrator of whose website was also involved in the online movie piracy network. He was arrested at his Sango Ota, Ogun State base while the weblink to access the ‘Malaika’ movie was also found on his website. On interrogation, he also confessed to pirating and unlawfully uploading the ‘Malaika’ movie and other Nigerian movies on his website.

“The painstaking and technically-driven Investigation into this case have established the depth of the criminal activities of a net-based syndicate whose modus is to utilise their websites to pirate, upload and share movies and other intellectual properties in the cyberspace to generate traffic and obtain undue financial gains to themselves at the detriment of the Movie Producers and in negation of extant criminal laws

“In guiding this investigation to conclusion and in engendering a credible prosecution of all suspects involved in the crime, the leadership of FCID, (Annex) Lagos wishes to appreciate the cooperation of the movie industry players, particularly, Toyin Abraham, Film One, and her Team as well as Funke Akindele and her Team. AIG Idowu Owohunwa, the AIG, FCID (Annex), Alagbon, Lagos assures of his firm determination to continue to collaborate effectively with the movie industry actors and the Nigerian Copyrights Commission to rid the space of criminal elements that are bent on threatening the survival of the vibrant Nigerian movie industry.”

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