Pankeeroy affirms arrest, denies fraudulent activity
Comedian, Nwagbo Oliver Chidera, professionally known as Pankeeroy, has confirmed reports of his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) but dismissed speculations of involvement in fraudulent activities due to depression and frustration.
Speaking to journalists at a facility in Lekki, Lagos, the Instagram influencer and content creator, accompanied by his manager and Chief Executive of Tasanda Media, Daniel Idehen, and legal representative of Tasanda Media, Oghale Eluko, affirmed his reported arrest by the anti-graft agency on Wednesday, April 21, following a viral photo of him bearing the charges leveled against him.
He said though the matter was still being investigated, no charge has been preferred against him by the Commission, which arrested him at James Court Hotel and Luxury Apartments, a hospitality facility in Lekki Phase 1, when he went to check out the quality of the place for his proposed skit shot.
“Yes, I was arrested by the EFCC and held in custody for about five days and released on bail after my mother and sister fulfilled the bail conditions,” he stated.
Interjecting, his lawyer said it was a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, noting that everybody (about 35 people) that were arrested on the day were granted bail at the same time and are to show up at the Commission’s office once in two weeks.
On the speculated Mercedes Benz AMG, worth millions of naira, and N22,300,000 worth of Bitcoin recovered in his name, Pankeeroy said: “They are all mere speculations; I don’t own any of these things. None of them were recovered from me; they were just speculations by blogs.”
When asked if he engages in Bitcoin business, his counsel answered that a section of the media had, in a bid to sensationalise the news, attributed some of the recovered items from some of the people arrested to the comedian.
“He was more like a celebrity in the midst of all the suspects; hence the reason for attributing the items to him. The block chain wallet and Mercedes Benz reported online does not belong to him,” he said.
On the alleged defrauding of people of their hard-earned money as a Bitcoin vendor under the cover of a platform he created, Eluko stated that no such thing happened, saying: “At the moment, he has not been accused or charged by the EFCC with any of such thing. And like stated earlier, the matter is under investigation; we await the outcome of the investigation for further actions.”
Commenting on how the incident has affected the comedian’s reputation and brand as a comedian, influencer, brand ambassador and content creator, his manager said: “Basically, they (the brands) are all waiting to see the conclusion of the investigation and see if he is going to be charged.
“At the moment, they are eagerly waiting for the EFCC’s response, and whatever be the outcome, we will respond.
“Be that as it may, we are still going to take actions on the speculations, as it were, because those information were not properly investigated before the blogs circulated them.”
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