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Court orders forfeiture of Invictus Obi’s N280.5m

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Court orders forfeiture of Invictus Obi's N280.5m

Obinawanne Okeke, aka Invictus Obi, the alleged leader of a cyber crime syndicate may lose a large chunk of money to the Federal Government as a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of N280,555,010.65 “warehoused” in the bank accounts of Invictus Oil and Gas Limited and Invictus Investment Limited.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on Monday, in an exparte application, told the court that the two firms were owned by Obinwanne Okeke, who is believed to be “a strong leader of a cyber crime syndicate that specialised in business e-mail compromise.”

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

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Obi was arrested in August by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is allegedly to be the ringleader of a cyber crime syndicate that had defrauded American citizens to the tune of $11m “through fraudulent wire transfer instructions in a massive, coordinated, business e-mail compromise scheme.”

Justice Rilwan Aikawa, while ruling on the ex parte application by the EFCC, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sums of N240,250,904.46 and N40,304,106.19, which the anti-graft agency said it found warehoused in the Nigerian bank accounts of Invictus Oil and Gas Limited and Invictus Investment Limited, respectively.

According to EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, the funds were “reasonably suspected” to be proceeds of cyber crime and urged the judge to order its forfeiture to the Federal Government to prevent Okeke from dissipating same.

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