A federal high court in Lagos state has ordered the forfeiture of N280 million reportedly belonging to Obinwanne Okeke, a Nigerian entrepreneur who is better known as Invictus Obi.
Rilwan Aikawa, the judge, gave the order following an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday.
He held that the sums of N240,250,904.46 and N40,304,106.19, which the EFCC said is being “warehoused” in the bank accounts of Invictus Oil and Gas Limited and Invictus Investment Limited, be temporarily forfeited to the federal government.
Rotimi Oyedepo, EFCC counsel, had said the funds were “reasonably suspected” to be proceeds of cyber-crime, and he asked the judge to order a forfeiture.
In an affidavit filed in support of the application, Ariyo Muritala, EFCC investigator, said the funds could be expended by Okeke and his cronies if the order is not granted.
“I know as a fact and verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following ear-aching and mind-boggling findings: (a) That the Obinwanne George Okeke is a strong leader of a cybercrime syndicate specialized in business email compromise. (b) That the said syndicate has defrauded many innocent and unsuspecting victims (g) That the said Obiwanne George Okeke has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States of America for cybercrime-related offences (h) That if these funds are not forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria Obiwanne George Okeke and his cronies will dissipate same,” he said.
Currently, Okeke is in a US prison, where he may be until February 2020, over an alleged $11 million fraud.
He was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at Dulles International Airport while leaving the United States.
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