Two popular journalists have been arrested over a severely damaging story they published about fashion designer Yutee Rone.
Abiola Aloba, who used to write for Encomium Magazine but now owns Maestro Media Blog, published a story earlier this year, accusing an unnamed married mother of promiscuity and a number of other vices.
He did not mention names but left it open for his readers to decipher. In the comment section of his post, readers concluded that he was writing about Yutee Rone.
Yutee Rone is an Abuja-based fashion designer and the owner of fashion brand, Yutee Rone Atelier. She is married to billionaire businessman and Chairman of UTM Group, Julius Rone, and they are parents to three boys.
The damaging story posted about Yutee was later deleted from Abiola Aloba’s website after calls were made to him.
However, on February 7, the story showed up on another website called Lagos Edition. This website not only made damaging allegations against Yutee, but it also mentioned names and even posted photos of the fashion designer and the people she’s allegedly involved with. Some of the names mentioned are people who are quite popular in Lagos.
The allegations made on this website were extremely wild and damaging, of which promiscuity was just the least.
Aloba was suspected as the person behind the story since he posted something similar initially. However, he denied it and said he had nothing to do with it.
The article was also later taken down from this website, but soon after, it sprang up on another website called Society Now, run by veteran journalist Sunday Adebayo.
Sunday Adebayo is a society reporter and also used to write for Encomium before he struck out on his own.
Soon enough, the story began popping up on Instagram blogs.
Seeing the damage the said publication caused the family, Yutee and her husband, Mr Julius Rone resolved to get to the bottom of the ludicrous story and find the truth and its origin.
The height of it all was when a video of a naked woman with Yutee’s head photoshopped onto the woman’s body was passed off as the fashion designer. It circulated mostly on WhatsApp.
It was at this point that Yutee’s husband got the Inspector General of Police Special Tactical Squad unit involved, as the attack on Yutee and her family had begun to look like blackmail to extort the family and bring the family name to disrepute.
Sunday Adebayo was arrested on February 27th at midnight at his home and during interrogation, alleged that the damaging story he published was given to him by Abiola Aloba.
Hinted by his co-conspirator and informant that the authorities were making moves to have him arrested, Aloba – a society reporter who hangs with the big names in the Lagos social scene – abandoned his home and family for 4 days and went into hiding.
Aloba was later tracked down and arrested in Lagos on February 28.
Both men were transferred to Abuja for thorough investigations to uncover who their informant is, as it seemed like a sponsored post to damage the Rone family’s image.
In his confession recorded on video, Aloba admitted to publishing the story.
Aloba and Adebayo were last week arraigned before a court in Abuja and have been charged with criminal conspiracy, intimidation, extortion, and defamation of character.
The case was adjourned till April 15, 2020, and the men, both in handcuffs, were remanded in Keffi prison where they will remain until their next court appearance.
Below is a video of Sunday Adebayo’s arrest and photos of both Sunday and Aloba in detention.