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Forbes-rated Young Nigerian Billionaire Arrested By FBI Over $12m (N4.2bn) Fraud |The Republican News

A Forbes-rated young Nigerian billionaire and CEO of Invictus Group, Obinwanne Okeke has been arrested by America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over a $12 million (N4.3bn) fraud.

He was arrested last week on the last day of his trip to the United States for allegedly defrauding top American companies of huge sums. Notably, he allegedly scammed $12m from a steel company by hacking into an executive’s office365 account and sending an email with a fake invoice to the purchasing department.

His arrest came after Special Agent Marshall Ward of the FBI and the team he heads opened up an investigation in July 2018, following a petition by Unatrac Holding Limited.

The charge sheet reads in part “In June 2018, Unatrac Holding Limited, the export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment, headquartered in the United Kingdom, contacted the FBI.

They reported that Unatrac had been victimised through an email compromise, which ultimately resulted in fraudulent wire transfers totalling nearly 11million US Dollars. After reviewing the documentation provided by the representatives, the FBI opened an investigation in July 2018.

“The FBI discovered that after capturing the legitimate credentials of Unatrac’s Chief Financial Officer, the accused was able to log in and access the CFO’s entire Office365 account, which included all of his emails and various digital files, the logs indicated that between April 6 and April 20, 2018, the intruder accessed the CFO’s account 464 times, mostly from Internet Protocol (IP) addresses from Nigeria.

“With full access to the account, the intruder sent fraudulent wire transfer requests from the CFO’s email account to members of Unatrac’s internal financial team. The intruder also attached fake invoices to the emails to enhance the credibility of the requests,” the investigator stated. The investigation, painstaking and far-reaching, lasted more than a year during which Obinwanne emerged as the principal culprit and has since been arrested while on his regular visit to the United States.”

Before his arrest, Obinwanne Okeke was a celebrated businessman who had a ‘grass to grace’ story on Forbes. The arrested suspect is said to be the 17th child of a polygamous father who died when he was 16, and he reportedly moved from one relative to another before moving Australia where he “did all kinds of jobs just to survive.” He became a viral sensation after he got featured in ‘Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30’ list in 2016.

It is not clear how he made the list of Forbes’ 100 Most Influential Young Africans 2018, it should, however, be noted that he founded the Invictus Group of Companies, an investment conglomerate dealing in construction, agriculture, oil and gas, renewable energy, telecoms, and real estate.

Invictus Group operates in three African countries, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia. His company was named as Africa’s Most Innovative Investment Company of the Year by African Brand Congress in 2017.

Obi recently got married, had a baby last month and got listed among 100 Most Influential Young Africans in 2018 alongside Davido, Falz, Ahmed Musa. He was also nominated for the All African Business Leaders Award for Young Business Leader (West Africa) in 2018. The AABLA Award is the most prestigious award for African businessmen/entrepreneurs.

The young Nigerian who accepted an offer to be a Contributor for Forbes Magazine and published his first essay in May 2017, has however been arrested by the FBI for allegedly being a fraudster which is popularly known as ‘yahoo-yahoo’ in Nigeria.

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Shocking: Lagos Businesswoman Loses N1.2bn To Domestic Servant Who Is A Youth Corper

Youth Corper Suspect, Blessing Nnenna Anari

Chioma Igbokwe

serving youth corps member, Blessing Nnenna Anari has given details of how she handed over jewelry and other valuables worth over N1.2billion to suspected fraudsters. She is alleged to have raided the home of her employer, a successful Lagos businesswoman, identified as Uju (other name withheld), who employed her 10 years ago as a domestic servant. The victim is the chief executive of a petroleum marketing company based in Lagos.

Anari was arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Lagos Police Command, Ikeja along with Babalola Olaitan, one of the suspected fraudsters.

Saturday Sun gathered that the state Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu had received a complaint by Uju who alleged that her employee, Nnenna Anari carted away valuables worth N1.2billion while she was on a trip abroad.

Upon her arrest, Anari claimed that she was hypnotized by suspected fraudsters who gave her a free ride sometime in October 2018  to Igbo Efon area of Lekki where she normally attends her weekly Community Development Service (CDS).

They convinced her to bring all the jewelry in her employer’s home, an instruction she found the courage to carry out seven months later.

Saturday Sun learnt that as soon as the fraudsters learnt that their latest victim had been arrested, they fled from their various homes while their hideout in Ibafo area of Ogun State was locked up.

Luckily, detectives led by officer in charge of SARS, Peter Gana, a Chief Superintendent of Police, were able to track and arrest one of the suspects, Olaitan, in Ondo State where he was hiding. Olaitan, during interrogation told the police that they are a group of five men whose only job is to deceive and extort money from unsuspecting victims with the promise to make them rich.

A large quantity of the jewelry was also recovered from one of the Bureau de Change operators who bought part of the loot from the fraudsters.

Confirming the arrest, Lagos State Police spokesman, Bala Elkana said that detectives are still on the trail of the other fleeing suspects. He advised Lagosians to be wary of fraudsters who appear as desperate persons with bogus offers.

My story

Narrating her ordeal to Saturday Sun correspondent, Nnenna Anari who could not control her tears said that she had no reason on earth to steal from her employer who had treated her well for the past ten years.

“I am from Ikwor in Ebonyi State and ten years ago when I was still a teenager, my uncle took me to Lagos to serve Mummy Uju as her house keeper. She was so nice to me and sent me to Elizade University, Ondo State where I studied Accounting. I am currently serving in Lagos with the Batch B corps and my madam who is into oil and gas business promised to give me a good job as soon as I am done.

“Sometime in October 2018, I was on my way to Igbo Efon area in Lekki where I normally attend the weekly Community Development Service (CDS) which holds every Thursday. I was waiting for a bus when a Toyota Camry car stopped and asked me to pay N200 so that they will drop me at my bus top. In Lagos, most of the private car owners or their drivers normally pick people on the way for a certain fee.

“I assumed that this was one of them and entered. They were about three of them including the driver when I entered. A few meters away, they picked another man so I had to sit at the middle. Five minutes later, the man by my left introduced himself as Peter and said that he has two bags of dollars in the boot.

I was wondering why he is sharing such information when he knew that he can be robbed.

“He went ahead to say that he stole it from his boss who just died. He said that his boss, a Hausa man was very rich and as his servant he knew the password that opened his safe and took as much as he could and fled.

“He then said that the man is a cultist and that he was warned to take it to the priest for sacrifice. I pretended as if I did not hear and reminded the driver that I was to step down at the next bus stop.”

According to Nnenna, she was surprised when the man agreed to share the money. “At that point he said that he was willing to share the money with us if we will help him. All my life, I have not heard about this type of fraud so I never knew that they were fraudsters. This was how we all drove down to a shrine in Ibafo where the sacrifice was supposed to take place.

“As soon as I entered there, I saw four angels at a corner and they were prophesying. Three of them were women, although I did not see their faces, they sounded like women.

“They said that I should comply with whatever they tell me as God was the one who sent them to change my destiny. I believed they were real angels and agreed to take an oath of secrecy. They listed all kinds of things to be bought and I told them that I had only N60, 000 in my account.

“They asked me to go home that they will keep in touch. They kept calling and demanding for money and whatever I have I gave them. I told them everything about my life and they assured me that my destiny will soon change.”

Hopeful that her destiny will change, Nnenna alleged that she gave every information about her employer to the fraudsters who kept demanding for more money. “It is now that I realized that everything was planned. I kept visiting the shrine to know if the sacrifice was over and each time, they will create a scene to show that the angels were not happy.

“I had already told them that my madam is very rich but since I am not her daughter, she will not be willing to give me money. They told me that I have to work for my destiny or remain a maid for the rest of my life. I told them that whatever we are doing, I couldn’t steal from my employer because she is too good.

“When I informed them that Mummy Uju, her husband and children have travelled, they told me to bring all the jewelry and money in the house. They assured me that after the prayer that the money will be returned intact.

It was when they collected my phone and asked me to leave that I realized there was trouble. I asked them to give me the jewelry and they told me that the angels were still working on it.

“They took my phone and asked me to lie to my boss that I was hypnotized. I rushed to the church and told the pastor what happened; he was the one that informed Mummy Uju. I was arrested by the police and luckily, they have picked one of them. He was the native doctor.”

Mummy, please forgive me

Crying uncontrollably, Nnenna pleaded with her boss to forgive her. “Mummy Uju is my God on earth and has the final say in this matter. I came to Lagos as a maid to serve my madam and along the line she was so happy with me and sent me to school. I do not have any reason to deceive her or steal from her. She had promised to give me a job in her company after my Youth Service. If I wanted to steal from her, I would have run away. I am sorry Mummy and I am ready to serve you for the rest of my life. Mummy, please forgive me,” she wept.

We have files on our victims

Narrating his role to Saturday Sun, Babalola Olaitan, whose responsibility is to pretend to be a native doctor, said that everything that happened was just cooked up to put fears in the heart of their victim. “I am a native of Ondo State and I live at No. 9 Titilayo Street, Ibafo with my family. I used to be a successful businessman till things changed and my business collapsed. I sold out everything and started doing menial jobs just to make ends meet. Some years ago, a friend from Ibadan taught me the job. Then I was only pretending to be ghost or any other available role once a target is gotten.

“Gradually, I was able to join other groups because I was so good at it. All we do is to convince our target that there is huge money to inherit and because most of them are greedy they will play along until they fall into our trap. Once you enter the shrine, it will take God to clear your eyes that all the things that you are seeing are not real.

“Sometime in October last year, Kayode called me that they were coming to Ibafo with a client. I quickly rushed to the shrine that we constructed; it is located around Alayo area in Ibafo. As soon as she arrived, the others who are part of the syndicate were already on ground and ready to play their role. We all took a blood oath and I told the girl that if she dares to tell anyone, she and her entire family would die.

“I assured her that it was spirits that directed her to enter the car as she will soon become a millionaire. All we needed was money to buy things that will be used for sacrifice. Already they have told her while in the car that the original owner of the money is a cultist.

“She was able to withdraw N60, 000 from her account and gave us. We told her that about N500, 000 is needed for the sacrifice. After that she was released to go home and an account number was given to her to pay in any amount that she has. Anytime we call her, she will pay some money but it was not much.

“We also got to know much about her and the people she was serving. The assurance we gave her was that very soon she will be as rich as her madam and will have more than enough money to take care of her family,” he said.

According to Olaitan, the syndicate kept tab on Nnenna to ascertain the best time to make a bigger move. “She told us that her madam has so much jewelry and most of them were gold. We convinced her to bring all the gold and currencies in the house since her madam has travelled.

“I assured her that they will be returned before they will come back. Luckily, she brought them. We sold the gold at a giveaway price of N12.7million in addition to 15,000 dollars cash she brought. The gold could be more expensive than the price we got it; I had to quickly sell it off at any available price. If the Bureau de Change people feel that it could be stolen, they collect it at a giveaway price. Every member of the group fled when information leaked that I have been arrested.”

On the female voice that was heard during the make-believe drama at the shrine, Olaitan said they were voices of men. “We are about eight and those who were covered in white are all men pretending to be women. We have a list of victims that we are working on, and as soon as we have a windfall, everyone will disappear until the matter dies down.” (The Sun)

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Lai Mohammed To Appear In Court Over N2.5bn NBC Fraud Case |The Republican News

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Olufemi Atoyebi, Abuja

The immediate-past Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, will appear before a Federal High Court in Abuja over his role in the payment of N2.5bn by the National Broadcasting Commission for the Federal Government Digital Switch-Over programme.

According to a statement signed by the spokesperson for the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa, the ICPC had filed 12 counts before Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, against the Director General of NBC, Modibbo Kawu, the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Lucky Omoluwa, and the Chief Operating Officer of the company, Dipo Onifade.

He added that the NBC DG misled the former minister into approving government funds to a private company.

The ICPC is also prosecuting Kawu over alleged abuse of office and money laundering.

The commission said, “The former minister’s involvement had come under questioning following discovery by the ICPC during investigations, that a government White Paper that governs the execution of the DSO programme was allegedly flouted by the head of the NBC.

“Mohammed had however admitted in a statement to the commission that he was misled by Kawu, as opined in court by a witness from the ICPC, Osanato Olugbemi. Olugbemi, led in evidence by counsel for the ICPC, Henry Emore, also told the court that the payment of N2.5bn from the NBC to Pinnacle Communications Limited as seed grant was suspicious because only government-owned company was approved to benefit from the grant according to the White Paper.

“The court also heard that the processes that led to the final payment of the fund to the private company were shrouded in secrecy as revealed by the minutes of an NBC emergency board management meeting where issues of carriage fees owed Pinnacle and not seed grant was discussed.”

The statement said 47 suspicious transactions were originated by the chairman of Pinnacle Communications, Omoluwa, immediately after the receipt of the funds on June 2, 2017.

“The transactions include payments of N363m to one Idowu Olatunde, N274.4m to one James Segun and N127 m to Onifade. Onifade explained that he received the money as legal fee he rendered to the company.

“A Bureau de change operator, Salisu Daura, who also testified in court, said he received N167m in two installments of N97m and N70m. Daura added that the sums were converted into $265,000 and $195,735 at the rate of N360 to US dollar, and handed the cash to one Alhaji Sabo, supposedly on behalf of Pinnacle Communications,” the commission noted. (Punch)

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Nigerian Man Excited As European Female Lover Prepares To Pay His “Groom Price” |The Republican News

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

By Chibiko Ikenna Offor

A strange phenomenon got the social media on a wildfire buzz. This is an alleged excitement by a Nigerian guy who is expecting his European lover he found on Facebook to come to pay his “groom price”. She met him on Facebook and has visited and spent two weeks in Nigeria and went back to prepare to come to pay his “groom price”, something never heard of in African or Nigerian marriage tradition.

The Nigerian guy hails from Abia state in the South Eastern region of the country

“We got connected through Facebook, she would’ve been a victim, but I decided to keep it real and clean with her, he said

“Some of my friends said am getting emotional with my client but I turned a deaf ear to all their advice, I went ahead to add her up on my real Whatsapp, we dated online for four months and things went quite well.”

“Then, she summoned the courage and came down here to see me.”
“She stayed in Nigeria for two weeks, and promised to come back and pay for my groom price with her family members”.

“Yahoo sweet, but being real, legit pass”, he said.

It is obvious these online frausters have some new pranks up their sleeves.

Hopefully, he marries her and remains her man forever and doesn’t have any hidden agenda.

A lot of Nigerians who responded to this strange news were quite religious in their responses, asking him to accept Jesus Christ and repent.

One Mr Kenneth Aririele had this to say ” After paying your “groom” price, you should change your surname to hers since you must have lost what makes you a man.”

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Gen. Buratai,CoAS, Allegedly Awarded $444,000 Contract To His Girlfriend, Maryam – US Journalist

A US-based Nigerian journalist, Jackson Ude, has fingered the Chief of Army Staff, Gen T. Buratai in an alleged fraud, which

Tukur-Buratai

 

In a tweet he made on his official handle, he stated how the Chief of Army Staff, awarded a $444k (N160m) contract to his girlfriend.

Read his post below..

Chief of Army Staff, Gen T. Buratai awarded a contract of $444k to his girlfriend, Maryam. Funds paid thru the Nigerian Army Ordnance Tailoring Factory to one 313 Bureau De Change in Wuse Zone 4 Abuja. 313 wired the $444k to a Bank account in Dubai linked to Gen Burutai.

Mr Jackson has prior to the election revealed how the presidency cabal, namely Abba Kyari, Alhaji Funtua, Lawal Daura and Maman Daura have connived to defraud the DSS of N5 billion out of the N10 billion national budget for DSS to cover its national election budget.

BREAKING: N5bn Loot In DSS By Buhari’s Relatives Bursted, Whistblower Goes Public |RN

All these revelations meant nothing to President Buhari, who is purportedly fighting his own definition of corruption in his own terms, irrespective of the odds against such despicable charade.

 

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FG Calls For Arrest Of Innoson Group Boss, Innocent Chukwuma, Two Others |RN

Innocent-Chukwuma1

Chairman Innoson Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma

The Federal Government Monday urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to issue a bench warrant for Innoson Nigeria Limited’s chairman Mr. Innocent Chukwuma and two of his employees.

They were charged in a fraud case before Justice Ayokunle Faji.

The Police charged them with an alleged N2.4billion shipping fraud, but the Attorney-General of the Federation later took over the case.

Others named in the charge are Charles Chukwuma, Maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Anajekwu Sunny.

The prosecution is praying the court to order the arrest of Innoson Motors Chairman and his staff for failing to turn up to take their plea in the criminal charge.

Yesterday, Chukwuma and his staff were absent.

Prosecuting Counsel Mr. Julius Ajakaiye moved an application urging the court to order the absent defendants’ arrest.

He said the charge was served on them through a court-ordered February 8, 2016 substituted service following the AGF’s take-over of the case.

Ajakaiye said since then, the third and fourth defendants had been coming to court, while the first, second and fifth defendants “have refused, failed and neglected to appear in court till date”.

Consequently, he said the defendants were yet to take their plea and should therefore be compelled to appear.

He added that an April 12, 2016 amended charge could not be served on the absent defendants.

Ajakaiye urged the court to grant his application by ordering their arrest.

But defence counsel Chief George Uwechue (SAN) Prof. C. Mbadugha prayed the court to dismiss the application.

They argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to issue the warrant against the defendants “because they were not properly before the court”.

They said the application offends Order 6 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, adding that there was no proper service on their clients.

The prosecution accused the defendants of conspiring to unlawfully falsify shipping clearance documents.

They were accused of “uttering” (presenting) the allegedly falsified shipping documents as collateral to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to allegedly obtain a loan of N2.4billion.

The Federal Government claimed that the defendants committed the offence at Apapa wharf on October 10, 2013.

The alleged offence is contrary to sections 1(2) (c) and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation 2004.

Justice Faji adjourned until July 3 for ruling.

Source: financialwatchngr.com

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