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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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#EndSARS: Protesters Converge at Lekki Toll Gate Despite Sanwo-Olu 24 Hour Curfew

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#EndSARS Protesters Gathered at Lekki Toll Gate Despite Curfew

Lagos protesters defied the 24-hour curfew imposed by the executive governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as they gathered at Lekki Tollgate to continue their agitation.

The peaceful #EndSARS protesters sang the nation’s national anthem as they held on to their Nigerian flags proudly.

Earlier today, governor Sanwo-Olu, had imposed a 24-hour curfew across all parts of the state, saying the peaceful protest has been hijacked by criminals and unscrupulous individuals.

In a statement put out by the governor, he said “I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society.

“Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state. As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #ENDSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state.”

“I, therefore, hereby impose a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State as from 4pm today, 20th October,2020. Nobody, except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets.

However, the determined Nigerian youths matched forward as they clamoured for complete police reform and a broad-based transparent and good governance for all Nigerians and not a selected few.

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Lagos Imposes 24 Hour Curfew as #EndSARS Protest Turns Violent

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Sanwo-Olu Imposes 24 Hour Curfew in Lagos as Hoodlums Hijacked #EndSARS Protests

The Executive Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, imposed a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the state as peaceful #EndSARS protest turned violence amid the destruction of properties and lives.

In a statement released by the governor through his official Twitter account @jidesanwoolu, the governor said “I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society.

“Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state. As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #ENDSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state.”

“I, therefore, hereby impose a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State as from 4pm today, 20th October,2020. Nobody, except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets.”

This was after reports of numerous attacks and destruction of properties by certain elements that the Nigerian youths claimed were sponsored by politicians to disrupt their agitation and invalidate the entire protest.

On Monday, prisoners were freed in Benin, Edo State by unknown individuals either sponsored by politicians or part of the protesters that gone rogue or with different agenda.

In Abuja, a group of thugs (sponsored or not) burnt several vehicles claimed to be parked by peaceful protesters while in Lagos, the story is not different as unscrupulous elements have been stealing and attacking people.

With a 24-hour curfew now in place in Lagos and Edo States, the youths agitating may be forced to eventually meet with the government to discuss their demands and implementation methodology.

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EndSARS: Feminist Coalition Raises Over N77m Within Seven Days

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Feminist Coalition Receives Over N77 Million in Donations  in Seven Days

Feminist Coalition, one of the not-for-profit organisations, leading the #EndSARS campaign has raised over N77 million within seven days.

The group said the funds were raised “through the generosity of well-meaning people and concerned Nigerians who want their voices to be heard and their demands to be met.

The funds were raised to support Nigerian youths protesting against police brutality and extrajudicial killings by men of the now-dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.

Feminist Coalition, whose objectives include “fighting injustice through peaceful protests, fundraising, and social media organisation” disclosed this in a statement on Thursday titled, ‘Progress Report – October 15th, 2020’.

The statement released by the group partly read “Over the past week, there has been a peaceful uprising by the Nigerian youth, demanding for the disbandment of the notorious SARS unit, and the end to police brutality and an unjust judicial system.

“Like everyone else, we decided to play our part and help fight the injustice through fundraising in order to sustain the peaceful protests and ensure the safety of Nigerians exercising their civic rights – by providing food, water and other refreshments, masks, medical aid, and legal aid for protesters.

“We have raised a total sum of: NGN 62,643,663.05; USD 11,474.34 (N4.3m), CAD 5,595.89 (N1.6m), GBP 5,733.49 (N2.8m), EUR 875.42 (N390,225), GHS 1,256.70 (N81,823), KES 53,016.60 (183,656) and BTC 1.28827988 (N5.5m).

“With these funds, we have supported 100 peaceful protests in 25 states, paid NGN 759,080 in medical bills for injured protesters, donated NGN 400,000 to the families of victims murdered by police officers while protesting peacefully, paid NGN 500,000 in legal aid and spent N 11,367,500 on supplies including food, water, mask among other things for the peaceful protesters.”

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