A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of two Abuja houses and two cars associated with convicted cybercriminal Obinwanne George Okeke, also known as Invictus Obi.
Justice Peter Lifu issued the order on October 29, 2021, in response to an ex parte motion filed and argued by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Chinenye Okezie.
The properties, according to the EFCC, will be used to compensate foreign victims of Invictus Obi’s fraud via the Consulate of the United States of America.
House 4 Oakville Estate, Kado Kuchi, Abuja, and a five-bedroom duplex at Standard Estate, Kabusa, Abuja, will both be forfeited.
The vehicles are a Toyota Corolla with Registration Number: RBC6238N and another unregistered Toyota Corolla Sport.
“I have listened to the submission of the applicant’s counsel in relation to the affidavit filed in support,” Justice Lifu said in granting the order. This application, in my opinion, is meritorious and should be granted. “As a result, this application is hereby granted in the manner requested.”
The judge also ordered that the Commission publish the order in a widely circulated Nigerian newspaper within 14 days, giving any interested party the opportunity to show cause why the order should not be made permanently.
He adjourned till November 30 to make a final decision on the forfeiture application.
The EFCC supported its application for the forfeiture with an affidavit sworn by one of its investigators, Usman Abdulhamid.
According to Abdulhamid, Invictus Obi had already forfeited N280,555,010, N240,250,904.46, and N40,304,106.19 to the Federal Government.
“The Commission’s further investigation revealed two more properties belonging to the convict, as well as two vehicles parked in the residence,” he said.
This application is required in order for the Consulate of the United States of America to compensate the victims of the fraud.
“This is a matter of grave public concern and interest because it directly tarnishes the image of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Nigeria in the international community.” The properties sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria by the Applicant were not obtained through the Respondent’s legitimate earnings, but are reasonably suspected to have been acquired as a result of the Respondent’s fraudulent activities for which he has been convicted.”
Obi was named one of Africa’s “most outstanding 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30” in 2016, according to Forbes.
In the United States, he is currently serving a ten-year sentence for his role in a $11 million computer-based intrusion fraud scheme.