A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos state has ordered the temporary forfeiture of money totalling N280,555,010 linked to Obinwanne Okeke also known as Invictus Obi to the Federal Government.
This order was given yesterday by Justice Ridwan Aikawa after an ex-parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC had traced the money to the alleged fraudster in two different bank accounts belonging to firms Invictus Oil and Gas Limited and Invictus Investment Limited.
Mr Obiwanne Okeke is currently in custody of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for committing financial cyber fraud of over $11 million. He was arrested in Dullies, Virginia on the 6th of August, 2019. He faces up to 30 years in prison if found guilty.
Since Okeke’s arrest, the EFCC has been working in hand with the US authorities to handle the case of the accused cyber-criminal. The EFCC filed for the temporary forfeiture of Invictus Obi’s accounts to prevent the money from being tampered with. They claim that the money in those accounts will most likely be proceedings from Obi’s shady activities.
The Lagos court ordered the money to be withheld by the EFCC and gave any company or individual with interest in the forfeited sum 14 days to appear before the court and prove why the funds should not be bequeathed to the FG.
From Grace to Grass
This is a spectacular fall from grace for Invictus Obi as barely 3 years ago, he was celebrated by Forbes as one of the “most outstanding 30 entrepreneurs under 30” in Africa. According to the magazine, Obi was “proof that there is hope for Africa”.
Invictus was even well known among the top young men in the country. He had several pictures with celebrities and was regularly invited to speak at events before his arrest.
His arrest as the suspected ring leader of a cyber fraud syndicate led to several reactions, with many left disappointed and asking the question “Is there really hope for Africa?”