Hushpuppi is unarguably the most talked-about celebrity on the internet right now, but for the wrong reasons. He is known for his flamboyant lifestyle, lavish spending habits and for always flaunting his wealth all over social media – especially on Instagram and Snap Chat. As of May 2020, he had at least 2.4 million followers on Instagram, many of whom can only dream about living the kind of luxurious life that he portrays on social media.
He is an embodiment of opulence and luxury. He is one of Nigeria’s richest celebrities without an endorsement contract. Many wealthy socialites today live off the bumper endorsement deals with major telecommunication companies or banking firms, but Hushpuppi has none of that, yet he is incredibly wealthy.
This post takes a closer look at his life. We uncover his real identity, age, recent arrest and ongoing prosecution and all you need to know.
Hushpuppi’s real name:
For a long time, many of his followers on Instagram did not know his real name nor where he was born. However, recent investigations following several allegations of fraud levelled against him have enabled us to uncover his true identity. His real name is Raymond Abbas Igbalode. He is also known as “Aja 4”, “Aja Puppi” and “Ray”. He had adopted the alias Hushpuppi and had become very popular with the name.
This man keeps a tight lid on his family and personal life, which is perhaps a key characteristic of fraudsters. While little is known about family background, we can accurately assert that he is presently 31 years old. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria on the 19th of October 1988, even though several publications have stated that he was indeed born on the 14th of June in the same year.
He posted a birthday wish for himself on his Instagram account in October last year. He said:
“As I turn a year older into my 30s today, I want to celebrate all of you out there who have through the years been very supportive in any form to me, those of you who mostly I have never met, spoken to or anything but have been a strong supporter of me through every situation until this point and still riding for me, I want you to know wherever you are that I celebrate and appreciate you today, today is OUR DAY!”
In 2018, a certain human rights activist named Deji Adeyanju grabbed headlines when he allegedly began to call for the EFCC to investigate Hushpuppi. The EFCC had just rounded up some 57 young men who were yahoo boys at the time. Mr Deji lauded their effort on making those arrests and was only calling for them to intensify their crackdown on cyber-crimes in the country. He had credible information that suggested that Hushpuppi was a fraudster and he urged them to bring him to book in earnest. However, it appears as if nothing was done about his calls then; which is not unusual in Nigeria, where the authorities may tell you to not tell them their job, instead of at least investigating the veracity of your claims.
Despite the allegations, Hushpuppi carried on his usual lavish and luxurious lifestyle without caution.
Many people who did not like Hushpuppi and those who regarded him as ‘proud’ and ‘pompous’ wished for his downfall. They were convinced that he made all his wealth by dubious means because there was never a time when Hushpuppi posted about his workplace or investment he was into. All he ever spoke about on social media was cars, houses and shopping sprees. In response to his haters, he always defended himself by saying that he became wealthy through hard work and resilience.
The perceived hatred and negative attitude towards him reached a climax when his friend and companion, Ismaila Mustapha a.k.a Mompha was arrested by the EFCC. Mompha, who was the CEO of ‘Mompha Bureau de Change’, a currency exchange dealer, had been on the EFCC’s watch list for a long time and was arrested as he was about to board an aircraft to the United Arab Emirates at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. Seeing that Mompha had finally been taken down, people began to call for Hushpuppi to be investigated too. Unknown to them, an underground investigation was already underway and in no time, the long arm of the law finally caught up with him. According to recent reports, Hushpuppi was recently tracked down and arrested in Dubai. It took a collaboration between the FBI, the Dubai police and Interpol. He was arrested alongside a long-time friend and accomplice of his named Woodberry. The duo was arrested and detained on allegations that they had been critically involved in an elaborate fraud crime worth millions of dollars. News had it that Hushpuppi had been on the watch-list of the Dubai police and Interpol for as long as four years. The reports also state that himself and his accomplice masterminded a scam to defraud the Government of the United State of several millions of dollars in unemployment benefits.
Imagine scamming the US. Really!
The news of his arrest spread like wildfire all over the internet. Twitter experienced a total meltdown. Many of his wealthy friends began to take down their pictures on social media where they also displayed their wealth, fearing that the FBI and Interpol may come for them too. Many Nigerians also began to formulate theories and explanations about what led to his arrest. The most authentic account to date is the comment made by his ex-girlfriend, Amiyah Dyme. She said that “Ray” as he was fondly called had ended their relationship because he felt that she was not good enough for him. According to her, Hushpuppi would tell her that she was not good enough to have a seat at the table of rich people because of how she dressed. She also added that, while she purchased her clothes with her hard-earned money, he stole the money he used to purchase all the expensive designer wears that he flaunted.
She called him a glorified thief.
Putting this account and those of other credible sources together, we can confirm the events that led up to Hushpuppi’s arrest. He and some of his friends, working with a sophisticated criminal syndicate based in Nigeria, were contracted to fly to Dubai to pick up some funds. The money they were to pick up was around $35 million and was to be delivered to the syndicate in Nigeria. The money had been gotten from shady deals and stolen funds involving the US government and several high-profile individuals and organizations. When Hushpuppi and his crew landed in Dubai, they reported back to the Nigerian syndicate that the money they found was only $5 million. This caused no small stir. To make matters worse, instead of following through with the plan, Hushpuppi decided to send only $1 million out of the alleged $5 million that was found.
This was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Out of anger and frustration, the leaders of the Nigerian syndicate covertly released documents and evidence incriminating Hushpuppi and his accomplices to the Interpol and FBI.
This led to his arrest in Dubai on the 10th of June, 2020. A few days later, his accomplice known as Mr Woodberry was also arrested. He has now been extradited to the United States of America for further investigation and possible prosecution.