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Alleged $11m Cyber Fraud: N280m Forfeited To FGN By Invictus Obi

IKOYI, LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA - The permanent forfeiture of a sum to the tune of N280,555,010.65 “warehoused” in the bank accounts of Invictus Oil and Gas Limited and Invictus Investment Limited, was on Thursday (today) ordered by a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, presided over by Justice Rilwan Aikawa. 

it would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had informed Justice Rilwan Aikawa that the two firms were owned by Obinwanne Okeke, “a strong leader of a cyber crime syndicate that specialised in business e-mail compromise.”

Justice Rilwan Aikawa's decision came consequent upon a motion by the EFCC praying for same.

Prior to this time, Justice Rilwan Aikawa had on October 9, 2019 ordered the temporary forfeiture of the said sum.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa particularly directed the anti-graft agency to publish the interim forfeiture order in a national daily and adjourned till Thursday (today) for anyone interested in the money to appear before him to give reasons why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

In his ruling, Justice Rilwan Aikawa declared that: “I have seen the application seeking the final forfeiture of the sum of N280.5m warehoused in the two bank accounts, which was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

“I am satisfied that the requirements enumerated under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related Offences Act have been met by the applicant in this suit; consequently, this application is hereby granted as prayed, as it remains unchallenged.

“The sum of N280.5m found in the bank account of Invictus Investment limited, who is the second respondent in this suit, is hereby forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Obinwanne Okeke, popularly known as Invictus Obi, is currently standing trial in the United States of America over an alleged $11m cyber fraud.

The 31-year-old Nigerian was, in 2016, celebrated by Forbes as one of Africa’s “most outstanding 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30.”

He was described by the magazine as “proof that there is hope for Africa.”

Okeke was, however, arrested last August by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, implicated as the ringleader of a cyber crime syndicate that had defrauded a number of American citizens to the tune of $11m “through fraudulent wire transfer instructions in a massive, coordinated, business e-mail compromise scheme.”

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