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Fraud and Corruption: Samson Siasia, Invictus Obi Nigeria Rebrands

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Invictus Obi, Real Name Obinwanne Okeke, Facing Trial in the United States

From the legend Samson Siasia to Invictus Obi to the newly wanted 80 Nigerians involved in frauds estimated at over $1.1 billion, Nigeria’s name is gradually becoming synonymous with fraud and corruption.

In the space of one month, Samson Siasia was handed a lifetime ban by FIFA with 50,000 dollar fine for bribery and an attempt to fix a football match. Barely 24 hours later, Obinwanne Okeke, popularly known as Invictus Obi, a former Tedx speaker and Forbes under 30 Africa’s most promising entrepreneur, was arrested in the U.S and currently being charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

In one of the cases being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Invictus Obi is being accused of fraudulently wiring $11 million from Unatrac Holding Limited bank account, the export sales office, Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment, in the United Kingdom.

Read more about that particular case and FBI affidavit here.

A week later, another set of Nigerians, in fact, 80 Nigerians both in the United States and Nigeria, were accused of carrying out over $1.1 billion frauds, mainly wire fraud and online romance.

The question is when would all these stops?

Please, no generic response of when unemployment eased in Nigeria as almost 20 people that have been arrested out of the 80 were Nigerians living in the US for more than a decade with citizenship or permanent residence, hence, nullifying the pervasive poverty/unemployment excuses.

Even Invictus Obi had his Bachelor and Master Degree (MA) in International Relations and Counter-Terrorism (cum laude) from Monash University, Australia. One of the most expensive universities in Australia.

It is obvious the issue is not entirely poverty or the high unemployment as most Nigerians have been postulating but a broad mental decadent that placed monetary worth over honesty or even humanity. Nobody knows Invictus Obi until he was able to buy his way into Forbes and other top platforms.

“Indeed, across Nigeria, we worship money. That is our national problem,” Ndubuisi Ekwekwe, the Chairman of Famcro, said in a Linkedin post.

“But the FBI arrests of many Nigerians (especially men from the southeastern part) take this to a new level. It is very shameful, and all of us should be ashamed of how we have gone this low as a nation – at home and abroad.

He explained that “there are consequences to all these things: the lowest among us sets the denominator on how people see us. Who told you that a New York company will hire you to serve as its CFO after Invictus Obi mess even though you were in the game a few days ago?

“And today, a U.S. investor planning to invest in a startup in Lagos pulled out after reading the Jumia mess. The investor, an American and a former schoolmate, has lost confidence in the numbers which the startup had shared.”

Similarly, local businesses and freelancers based in Nigeria have started losing potential foreign clients and investors, especially after Jumia numbers, the Amazon of Africa, were actually discovered to be inflated as declared by Citron Research in May.

A controversial personality on Linkedin, Jenna Bourgeois, the Chairman of Dynamics Intelligence Nigeria, had announced on Friday that his company was closing its operation in Nigeria due to numerous examples of employees and contractors extorting the company.

He said: “Effective immediately, we will be closing our operations in Nigeria. Over the last year, we have faced numerous examples of employees and contractors extorting the company. While we kept giving Nigerians a chance to gain skills and employment, we cannot run a company when we can’t trust the people who work for us. Any company interested in conducting business in Nigeria can reach out to us to learn how to avoid being scammed by technical resources. It is a kick in our face that we spent so much time trying to give Nigerians the benefit of the doubt to have this happen. Customers who wish to outsource, are well advised to seek an India-owned company for the best results.”

While few people that have worked with him have attacked his business approach or blame his failure in Nigeria on poor managerial structure, some of the comments from Nigerians were shocking.

For instance, Akin A, an experienced Accounting & Treasury Control Officer, commented by assuming he understands what Jenna needs and suggested a “decisive restructuring and effective business & financial control mechanism.

He supported that statement with “there are MNCs that have been operating in Nigeria for over 40, 50 & 60 years, how have they managed to succeed?.”

Here is the answer, they managed by adopting a localisation strategy — adapting to local modus operandi. Sadly, that means bribery and settlement in Nigeria. Shell has been indicted on numerous occasions and recently fighting to have a case presided over in Nigeria instead of the UK where bribery won’t work.

The U.S has sentenced all the people involved in Halliburton bribery scandal and the company itself paid $177 million and KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton indicted as well paid another $4002 million to the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. However, no single person has been sentenced in Nigeria 25 years later.

The current Nigerian system is not working and until educated few with the right mindset start calling it what it is we may not get to the bottom of this menace.

Dapo Alade, a software engineer, said “the problem itself is deep-rooted. Some people are still celebrating Invictus Obi knowing he committed fraud or got to his position through fraud.”

He added, “sadly, this country celebrates people with a questionable source of income. We need to be sensitized from the ground up.”

Parents, Pastors, Imams, traditionalists, organisations, and individuals (especially ladies) should start refusing gifts (money, donations, etc) from people with a suspicious source of income.

Until we start shaming fraudsters, denying them any form of respect even with their big cars and houses, stopping them from accessing opportunities and start celebrating hard-working everyday people without ‘purchased influences’ but life-changing contributions, we will continue to lose our young talents to fraud and turn the nation to a home of sympathisers of criminals (they have parents, wife, kids, etc) with no hope of rebranding or redeeming the nation of almost 200 million people.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Kagame Dominates Election with 99.15% of Votes Counted

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President Paul Kagame has taken a commanding lead in the Rwandan presidential election, securing 99.15% of the votes counted thus far, according to the National Electoral Commission.

The provisional results, reported by the state broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, indicate a decisive victory for the Rwandan Patriotic Front candidate.

With 79% of the ballots tallied, Kagame’s overwhelming lead leaves his opponents trailing significantly.

Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has garnered only 0.53% of the votes, while independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana has received 0.32%.

The voter turnout has been reported at an impressive 98%, underscoring the high level of public engagement in the electoral process.

The early results suggest a strong mandate for Kagame, who has been at the helm of Rwandan politics since 2000.

Kagame’s administration has been marked by significant economic growth and development, but it has also faced criticism for its stance on political dissent and freedom of expression.

Despite this, Kagame remains a highly popular figure in Rwanda, with many citizens crediting him for the country’s stability and progress.

The National Electoral Commission is expected to release the final results in the coming days. As the tallying continues, Kagame’s supporters have already begun celebrating his anticipated victory.

Analysts believe that Kagame’s likely re-election will provide continuity in Rwanda’s economic policies and development programs.

However, they also call for more inclusive governance and respect for political freedoms to ensure long-term stability and growth.

Kagame’s near-unanimous support in the early results reflects his entrenched position in Rwandan politics.

His ability to maintain such high levels of support will be a focal point of discussion in the aftermath of the election.

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Kenya Prepares for More Protests Over Unresolved Political Crisis

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Kenya is on the brink of another wave of anti-government protests as efforts to resolve the nation’s escalating political crisis appear to have stalled.

President William Ruto’s proposal for a national dialogue has yet to take off, leaving the nation in a state of heightened tension.

Activists have called for demonstrations across the East African nation on Tuesday, protesting the government’s failure to hold security forces accountable for the deaths of at least 41 people.

These casualties occurred during protests against Ruto’s contentious plan to raise taxes over the past month.

Despite the president’s announcement last week that national dialogue would commence on Monday to defuse the situation, progress has been elusive.

The main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), expressed uncertainty regarding the proposed talks.

“We haven’t received any invitation,” ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna stated. “When called, we’ll go because we are keen on getting broad-based reforms.”

A spokesperson for the presidency indicated that parliamentary leaders were managing the planned talks, but National Assembly majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah did not respond to requests for comment.

Protests initially erupted in mid-June over Ruto’s plans to increase taxes on essential goods, including bread and diapers, aiming to raise over $2 billion to reduce the government’s budget shortfall.

The public outcry forced Ruto to abandon the proposal, but dissatisfaction remains high.

Last week, in a dramatic move to quell public anger, Ruto fired almost all his cabinet members, underscoring the severity of the discontent.

The scrapping of the tax measures is expected to widen the government’s budget deficit to 3.6% of GDP in the current fiscal year, up from a previous projection of 3.3%.

This financial strain has not gone unnoticed; Moody’s Ratings downgraded Kenya’s rating by a step to Caa1, plunging it deeper into junk status, highlighting the country’s deteriorating fiscal condition.

On Saturday, Ruto vowed to hold accountable those responsible for the recent killings. However, his efforts to address public concerns seem insufficient to stem the tide of unrest.

On Monday, he called on the Ford Foundation, an organization promoting civic engagement, to clarify its role in the protests, though the foundation did not respond to requests for comment.

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Rishi Sunak Announces Resignation Amid Labour’s Sweeping Victory

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Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced his resignation as the leader of the Conservative Party following a historic victory by Labour in the general election.

Addressing the nation from the steps of 10 Downing Street, Sunak expressed his deep regret and took full responsibility for the party’s defeat.

“I would like to say, first and foremost, I am sorry. I have given this job my all,” Sunak began, visibly moved.

“But you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgement that matters. I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.”

The Conservatives experienced a staggering loss, with more seats taken by Labour than in any previous election.

This shift marked a dramatic change in the political landscape, as large swathes of the country turned red. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, claimed victory early Friday morning, addressing a jubilant crowd of supporters.

“The UK has the opportunity after 14 years to get its future back,” Starmer proclaimed.

Sunak, who retained his seat in Richmond, North Yorkshire, described the night as “sobering.”

In his concession, he stated, “The Labour Party has won this general election, and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory. The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight; there is much to learn, and I take responsibility for the loss.”

Following his resignation speech, Sunak and his wife, Akshata, departed from Downing Street for Buckingham Palace to formally tender his resignation to King Charles III.

A spokesperson for the King confirmed, “His Majesty was graciously pleased to accept.”

Reflecting on his tenure, Sunak said, “I am honoured to have been your prime minister. This is the best country in the world.”

He also acknowledged the many Conservative MPs who lost their seats, stating, “It pains me to think how many good colleagues who contributed so much to their communities and our country will now no longer sit in the House of Commons. I thank them for their hard work and their service.”

As the Conservative Party faces a period of introspection and rebuilding, Sunak emphasized the importance of the party’s role in opposition.

“It is important that the Conservative Party now rebuilds and also takes up its crucial role in opposition, professionally and effectively,” he noted.

The leadership race within the Conservative Party is expected to commence shortly, as the party seeks to navigate its path forward after this significant electoral defeat.

For now, the UK braces for a new political era under Labour’s leadership, with the promise of significant changes on the horizon.

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