A former Senator, Dino Melaye, says there was never a time he told anyone not to post the photographs he took with the suspected international scammer, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi.
The former senator represented Kogi West Senatorial district at the Eighth National Assembly.
Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, commonly known as Hushpuppi, Hush or Ray Hushpuppi, is a Nigerian Instagram celebrity who is facing criminal charges in the United States.
He is standing trial for conspiracy to launder money allegedly obtained from business email compromise frauds and other scams, including schemes that defrauded a U.S. law firm of about $40m, illegally transferred $14.7m from a foreign financial institution and targeted to steal $124m from an English football club until his arrest by the Dubai Police in June 2020 and his extradition to the United States.
Hushpuppi had a global following of over 2.5 million on Instagram where he posted pictures and videos of his lavish spending on exotic cars, watches, designer clothes, bags from luxury brands like Gucci, Fendi and Louis Vuitton; and of himself boarding helicopters, with celebrity, footballers and Nigerian politicians or while on charter jets.
He claimed to be a real estate developer and held a passport from St Kitts and Nevis, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation says is fake and purchased for $50,000.
Sequel to the declassifying of court documents stating that Hushpuppi had pleaded guilty to cyber crimes, money laundering and a host of related crimes, many people who had featured in his online photo albums had explained the reasons for the photo ops, claiming their innocence of his alleged crime.
However, ex-Senator Melaye said there was no reason for him to tell anyone not to publish photos of him and Hushpuppi.
“There was never a time I ask people not to post my pictures with Hushpuppi or anyone for that matter because there is no reason to. Am a political celebrity, please continue posting jare. Wetin bird chop na im e go carry fly. SDM,” the ex-senator said on his verified Instagram page @dinomelaye.