Latest News - Nigeria - June 19, 2020

From Forbes to 20 Years in Prison: Tale of Obiwanne ‘Invictus Obi’ Okeke

Loses N280m to Nigeria Govt

Disgraced Nigerian youth entrepreneur and Forbes-rated Obiwanne Okeke (aka Invictus Obi) is facing a possible 20 years in the prison in the United States of America for $11million internet fraud.

Obiwanne, once celebrated as Forces’ ‘Africa 30 Under 30’, on Thursday changed is ‘not guilty’ plea to ‘guilty’, paving the way for his sentencing by the Norfolk Magistrate Court, of the US District Court for Eastern District of Virginia.”

He was arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation in August 2019.

In November 2019, a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the permanent forfeiture of Invictus Obi’s N280,555,010 to the Federal Government. The money was adjudged to be proceeds of advanced fee fraud (aka 419).

Justice Aikawa ordered that the money in two Zenith Bank accounts Nos 3341692012 and 1013714256 be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

But on Thursday, June 18, 2020, the life of the man once seen as “a hope for Africa” plunged further at the US District Court for Eastern District of Virginia, where he is standing trial for sundry ‘wire fraud’.

The FBI said Okeke and at least six other persons were involved in the crimes, which involved breaking into governments’, companies’ and individual’s computer systems and stealing documents, altering their details and then using them to funnel money stolen from the accounts into their rogue accounts.

It is a sad end for a young man whose profile claimed a degree in International Studies and Forensic Criminology and a Masters of International Relations and Counter-Terrorism Studies from Monash University in Australia.

Okeke was widely celebrated as one of Africa’s brightest young entrepreneur, with his Invictus Group claiming to have investments in the oil and gas sector of Nigeria and several other countries.

He was invited seminars to teach entrepreneural skills, and he gave lectures on how youths should run their lives and achieve a better future for themselves.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation in its deposition by Special AGent Marshal Ward, said, “There is a probable cause to believe Okeke has conspired with several individuals to access computers without authorisation, and using such access to cause the fraudulent wire transfer of funds.”

The August 2020 affidavit also sought a warrant to arrest Okeke who was in the United States at the time.

In his affidavit, Special Agent Ward said illicit financial transactions were traced to a Gmail account believed to be owned by Okeke. Those transactions, he said, and conspiratorial communications with, at least six other emails, were carried out between 2016 and 2019.

Naija Daily News gathered that the FBI took a long time investigating and following the crime trails of Invictus, who showed off his wealth on social media with wild parties all over the world.

It was ironic that he was nailed by some of those posts, as he was pinned to some of the locations of crimes at the time of the crimes he was investigated for, by his Instagram and Facebook posts, took place.

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