The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the permanent forfeiture of N280,555,010.65 “warehoused” in the bank accounts of Invictus Oil and Gas Limited and Invictus Investment Limited, owned by ‘Forbes entrepreneur’ Obinwanne Okeke a.k.a Invictus Obi.
KanyiDaily had reported that on October 9, the court ordered the temporary forfeiture of the of the sums of N240,250,904.46 and N40,304,106.19, which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said was owned by Obinwanne Okeke, “a strong leader of a cyber crime syndicate that specialised in business e-mail compromise.”
During its ruling on Thursday, November 21, 2019, the presiding judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, ordered the N280m to be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government. He said:
“I have seen the application seeking the final forfeiture of the sum of N280.5m warehoused in the two bank accounts, which was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
“I am satisfied that the requirements enumerated under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related Offences Act have been met by the applicant in this suit; consequently, this application is hereby granted as prayed, as it remains unchallenged.
“The sum of N280.5m found in the bank account of Invictus Investment limited, who is the second respondent in this suit, is hereby forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
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”.