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The Invictus Obi Story: FBI Arrests Nigeria’s Forbes Listed Billionaire Over $12m Scam

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  • The Invictus Obi Story: FBI Arrests Nigeria’s Forbes Listed Billionaire Over $12m Scam

Nigerians are yet to recover from the shock of the arrest of popular Nigerian billionaire, Obinwanne Okeke; also known as Invictus Obi who was detained on Friday by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In 2016, Okeke became a continental sensation and mentor to several aspiring Nigerian youths after he was listed number 13 in Forbes Africa’s Under 30 as ‘Africa’s Most Promising Entrepreneur’.

A year later, in 2017, Invictus Group bagged Africa’s Most Innovative Investment Company of the Year awarded by African Brand Congress. The same year, he was nominated in the Young African Business Leader (West Africa) category for the All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA). In 2018, he was nominated amongst 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians by Avance Media.

Born on November 9, 1987, 31-year-old Okeke was the founder of the Invictus Group of Companies with branches in Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. He was believed by many to have been involved in a multi-billion dollar investment conglomerate after starting from a deprived scratch, having emerged from a very poor background.

According to the official website of the Invictus Group which was further confirmed by Forbes Magazine, the company is involved in, outsoucing, construction, agriculture, oil and gas, renewable energy, telecoms. The website also reveals that he has over ten years of investment experience and holds a Bachelors and Master Degree (MA) in International Relations and Counter Terrorism (cum laude) from Monash University, Australia and has received several leadership and honorary awards from both local and international organizations.

His grass-to-grace story coupled with his hypothetical successful businesses and humanitarian predisposition (as explained by his official website) may have endeared him more to the hearts of many struggling and hardworking youths who saw a picture of themselves in him.

The website reeled an emotive description of his supposed background, backing it up with a link to an account provided by Forbes on his background: “Obinwanne named his company after William Ernest Henley’s popular poem about an undefeated and unconquerable hard worker from an impoverished background who refused to give up.”

“Obinwanne’s story is quite similar. He was born to a polygamous father as the 17th child. At age 10, he left for boarding school and when he was 16, he lost his father. He kept moving from one relative to another. Things became difficult but he wanted a better life for himself and his mother.”

“As a teenager, Obinwanne took courses in business management as well as obtained a diploma as a computer technician. He later moved to Australia to study, where he said he “did all kinds of jobs just to survive.”

“He started an events/entertainment company for students called Invictus media and also interned at a poverty alleviation NGO in the country.”

“While in Australia, he founded Literacy Africa International to raise “awareness about literacy problem among children in Africa. He also sourced for donors of used children books across Australia and shipped them to disadvantaged kids across Africa. He saved some money, came back to Nigeria, and invested it in his business.

It also adds; “In 2017, Invictus Group was named as Africa’s Most Innovative Investment Company of the Year by African Brand Congress. The same year, Obinwanne was nominated in the Young African Business Leader (West Africa) category for the All Africa Business Leaders Awards ( AABLA).”

With the latest development, and through thorough evidence provided by the FBI, Okeke, in what may be described as well calculated and brilliant fraud may have successfully fooled the entire population of youthful hopefuls in Nigeria, the African continent and the world at large, having effectively deceived Forbes; a global media company.

He was linked with wire transfer fraud worth over $12 million, busted by the FBI and was arrested in one of his visits to the United States on Friday.

Thorough investigations led by Special Agent Marshall Ward of the FBI, revealed that, “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.”

Reacting to the arrest, the head of the Presidency Office of Digital Engagement, Tolu Ogunlesi, advised aspiring fraudsters to have a re-think, saying if the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) does not arrest them, the FBI will.

He tweeted: “If you’re a practicing or aspiring Yahoo Boy, please read this affidavit well. If EFCC doesn’t get you, FBI will. They’ve both ramped up their clampdown on computer and wire fraud.”

Below is a scanned FBI Affidavit in support of Obi’s criminal complaint and arrest warrant.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Covid19.nmfb.com.ng: How to Check Nirsal COVID-19 Loan Status

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bank loans

How to check if your Nirsal application for a low-interest COVID-19 loan for small businesses and individuals has been approved by Nirsal Microfinance Bank (NMFB).

To check your Nirsal covid-19 loan status or approval, click here or copy https://covid19.nmfb.com.ng/ to your browser.

Then select the category you applied for as shown below.

The two categories are Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) and Household.

Once you clicked on the category you applied under, you will be redirected to a page below where you will be asked to enter your Bank Verification Number (BVN).

The BVN is to know if the loan is approved or not.

Once your loan is approved you will be redirected to a page to accept and also sign an agreement term. After which you would be asked to provide your bank account details for payment. The payment is usually disbursed between two to three working days. However, there were reports that certain individuals are yet to receive payment despite been approved for months.

If after entering your BVN, it says invalid it means you will have to check back as your application may still be under processing. It means you are not approved at the moment.

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Europa League: Arsenal in Tough Spot After Home Draw

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UEFA Europa League quarter-finals return leg will be played on Thursday evening at 8pm live on StarTimes.

Aubameyang’s Arsenal is in a tough spot after their disappointing draw against Slavia Prague at home last week. Manchester United will be much more confident thanks to Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes’ goals that gave the Reds a 2-0 victory.

Of the four home sides in last week’s first leg quarter-final matches of the Europa League, Arsenal achieved the best result.

The Gunners were the only club to avoid defeat in their own stadium, though the Premier League club were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Slavia Prague.

In the first leg, Ivorian winger Nicolas Pépé gave Arsenal a late lead – five minutes from the end.

But just when Mikel Arteta’s side seemed to be able to take a one-goal advantage into Thursday’s away leg, Czech international defender Tomáš Holeš found an equalizer five minutes into injury time.

Slavia though will be wary of Arsenal’s away form in the competition, as the London side has yet to lose an away game in the Europa League this season.

They have won four of the six matches they have played away from home and drawn the other two.

The two other quarter-finals see La Liga club Villarreal take on Dinamo Zagreb in Spain with a 1-0 lead from the away leg, while Roma defend a 2-1 lead at home against Ajax Amsterdam.

Since being re-launched as the Europa League in 2009, the competition has grown in stature and regularly grabs its share of footballing headlines. With clubs like Arsenal and United involved, the world will be watching this week’s return legs in the quarter-finals.

African football fans will have a chance to watch the games live and exclusively on the StarTimes channels as Africa’s leading digital-TV operator broadcasts all the action from the exciting Europa League.

And two months from now, StarTimes is going to broadcast all matches of the long-awaited UEFA Euro 2020 live and in HD.

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COVID-19: Nirsal Microfinance Bank (NMFB) Loan – Covid19.nmfb.com.ng

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In a bid to ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses and individuals across Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria through Nirsal Microfinance Bank (NMFB) has reopened Targeted Credit Facility for COVID-19 loan to help struggling families, individuals and small businesses rebounded from the negative impact of COVID-19.

The facility provides individuals and businesses access to up to N25 million, according to a statement released by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The statement reads “The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented disruptions to global supply chains, sharp drop in global crude oil prices, turmoil in global stock and financial markets, massive cancellation of sporting and entertainment event, lockdown of large swaths movements of persons in many countries, and intercontinental travel bans/restrictions across critical air routes across the world.”

“These outcomes have had severe consequences on households’ livelihoods and business activities, resulting from drop in global demand, declined consumer confidence and slowdown in production.

“In this respect, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) as a stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

To apply for a COVID-19 NMFB loan click here to provide your details.

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