A popular broadcaster, Ifedayo Olarinde aka Daddy Freeze, who came under intense criticism online for promoting alleged internet fraudster, Ramon Abass, also known as Hushpuppi, has defended himself.
Nigerians called out the broadcaster, known for criticising pastors, on Twitter, following a mini-documentary on YouTube wherein he featured Hushpuppi.
In the video that has gone viral, the broadcaster could also be seen dining with Hushpuppi and mocking Nigerians who questioned his luxurious lifestyle on social media.
In the documentary, Hushpuppi was heard saying his driver collects more money in a month than a local government chairman in Nigeria.
Daddy Freeze said, “Hushpuppi’s driver earns #700,000 a month, you that are abusing him, you are doing houseboy work and you are collecting #35,000 you go on instablog to go and abuse Hushpuppi… Instead of you to beg Hushpuppi make he use your papa do driver.”
Addressing critics on Friday, Daddy Freeze said he never knew Hushpuppi to be a criminal but a social media influencer and that if he knew, he wouldn’t have hung out with him.
“I didn’t know him to be a criminal, if I did I wouldn’t hang out with him. And unless someone is proven guilty, I do not discriminate against them because the one who thought me Christianity, the one who I follow, Christ did not discriminate against anyone,” he said.
Speaking about his infamous interview with Hushpuppi, the broadcaster said he was in Dubai for a Cool FM event when Hushpuppi reached out to him.
He said he had tweeted that he was in Dubai, Hushpuppi saw his tweet and invited him for dinner.
The 44-year-old OAP added that he does not support fraud in any way and he would not have done a video with Hushpuppi if he had a case in court.
“As of the time I did the video, which is eight months ago, he had no case. Even now, until he is proven guilty by a competent court, we have to sit down and wait and allow the court to do its work.
“While we were driving, he got calls from Gucci, he got calls from Versace, and he got calls from LV all wanting to host him and he says he is an influencer. He didn’t get calls from any hackers, at least while I was there, there was nothing suspicious,” he said.
Hushpuppi was arrested in the United Arab Emirate on June 10, for multiple fraud charges.
The Dubai police officially released a video on Thursday, detailing how his arrest was effected. It was revealed in the video that Hushpuppi had defrauded thousands of victims of about N168 billion
Many of his followers acknowledged benefitting from his occasional cash ‘giveaways’, even though his source of affluence, which has long evoked the curiosity of bloggers, remained unclear,
Hushpuppi joins a list of high-profile Nigerians to be arrested so far in 2020. He was arrested months after several other Nigerians, including Obinwanne Okeke and Ismaila Mompha, were arrested in August and October 2019, respectively, for their alleged roles in separate multinational fraud.
Hushpuppi, who has over two million followers on Instagram, is known for his display of wealth on social media.
He often posts pictures with his luxury cars like Ferrari and Rolls Royce and a private jet.