The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered the forfeiture of N280,555,010.65 in the bank accounts of two firms linked to Obinwanne Okeke, popularly known as Invictus Obi, to the Federal Government.
The court gave this order following an ex-parte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, October 8, 2019.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa made an order for the interim 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.
EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court the funds were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of cybercrime and urged the judge to order their forfeiture to the Federal Government to prevent Obi from dissipating same.
In an affidavit filed in support of the application, EFCC investigator, Ariyo Muritala, said the commission assigned him and others to investigate a request for information on Okeke and three others by the United States Department of Justice, Office of the Legal Attache, US Consulate General.
He was arrested in August this year by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as the ringleader of a cybercrime syndicate, which had defrauded a number of American citizens to the tune of $11m “through fraudulent wire transfer instructions in a massive coordinated business email compromise scheme.”
The 31-year-old Nigerian was in 2016 celebrated by Forbes as one of Africa’s most outstanding entrepreneurs under the age of 30 and described by the magazine as “proof that there is hope for Africa”.