A popular Nigerian broadcaster, Ifedayo Olarinde alias Daddy Freeze, has said he is ready to defend himself should the FBI invite him for questioning concerning his relationship with an alleged internet fraudster, Ramon Abass aka Hushpuppi.
Daddy Freeze said this on his verified Instagram handle in a video titled, “Abba Kyari denies Huspuppi bribe allegation; says hands clean.”
His remarks were made on the backdrop of the recent announcement by the FBI that it was seeking Mr Kyari’s arrest over allegations that he abetted a $1.1 million transnational cyber-fraud initiated by Hushpuppi, a Nigerian Instagram celebrity.
Hushpuppi was arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in connection to the case and other fraudulent schemes.
Following the announcement, some Nigerians on social media referenced Daddy Freeze’s 2019 visit to Hushpuppi’s Palazzo Versace home in Dubai saying it was only a matter of time before the FBI came after the controversial broadcaster.
Responding to his critics, the broadcaster explained that he was in Dubai for a Cool FM event when Hushpuppi reached out to him.
He added that he had tweeted that he was in Dubai, Hushpuppi saw his tweet and invited him for dinner.
The result of that visit was a mini-documentary and tour of Hushpuppi’s luxury home, state-of-the-art vehicles, and wardrobe posted on Daddy Freeze’s YouTube account.
In the now-infamous Youtube video, Hushpuppi could be heard saying his driver collects more money in a month than a local government chairman in Nigeria.
In the same video, the broadcaster could be seen dining with Hushpuppi in his residence and mocking Nigerians who questioned Hushpuppi’s luxurious lifestyle on social media.
Mr Olarinde in the clip said he is disappointed in Hushpuppi and added that he was not afraid of being questioned by the FBI over his relationship with the embattled Nigerian Instagram celebrity.
“You guys need to move away from this mentality that anybody that hangs out with) somebody must be collecting money from that person, I would not lie, I’m disappointed in Hushpuppi and if I see him now, I will tell him because you fed the rumours because tomorrow somebody is buying a Ferrari he must be a thief,” he said.
The 45-year-old broadcaster also said he is not afraid of being called in for questioning by the FBI as he has nothing to hide.
“Someone said Freeze dey fear, I don talk before when you no get sense you go dey talk nonsense, I don talk am say if FBI wants to question me, make them dare me I ready answer anybody question,” he said in pidgin.
“What do I have to hide? Do I have anything to hide? They will come and sit down and look at all my bank details. Let them just look…let them check all the notes I have and see if there is anything that looks like ‘Dubai money’ that can be traced to Hushpuppi, they should come, for free. It is when you have something to hide that you will be worried about. What I wanted from Hushpuppi was an interview…”
When the news of Huspuppi alleged involvement in internet fraud became public knowledge, Daddy Freeze said if he knew that Hushpuppi was a criminal, he wouldn’t have hung out with him.
He also came under intense criticism online for promoting the alleged internet fraudster and has since continued to defend himself.
Addressing critics in June 2020, 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.
The OAP added that he does not support fraud in any way and he would not have shot a video with Hushpuppi if he had a case in court
“I didn’t know him to be a (alleged) 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 taught me Christianity, the one who I follow, Christ did not discriminate against anyone,” he said.
He said, “I didn’t know him to be a criminal, if I did I wouldn’t have hung out with him. And unless someone is guilty, I do not discriminate against them because the one who taught me Christianity did not discriminate against anyone.”
Hushpuppi who boasts over 2.5 million followers on Instagram was unfollowed by some of his followers including celebrities like Davido, Tiwa Savage, Zlatan, Naira Marley, Tonto Dikeh and others shortly after his arrest.