A federal high court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of houses and cars linked to Obinwanne Okeke, Invictus Group CEO, who is popularly known as Invictus Obi.
In August 2019, Okeke was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at Dulles International Airport in connection with $11 million fraud.
In February 2021, Invictus Obi was convicted and sentenced to a 10-year jail term for his involvement in a computer-based intrusion fraud scheme.
Following an application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Peter Lifu, the judge, on Friday, ruled that houses linked with Okeke in Abuja, including cars, should be temporarily forfeited.
The judge ordered EFCC to publish the order in a widely read newspaper in Nigeria within 14 days to enable interested parties to come forward with arguments on why the order should not be permanent.
He adjourned the case till November 30 to make a final decision on the forfeiture motion.
EFCC’s application was supported by an affidavit sworn by Usman Abdulhamid, one of its investigators.
Abdulhamid argued that the application is necessary in a bid to provide restitution to victims of the fraud through the US consulate.
The investigator told the court that the properties in question were not acquired through the legitimate earnings of Okeke.
“On further investigation by the commission, two more properties were traced belonging to the convict, along with two vehicles parked in the residence,” he said.
“This application is pertinent in order to restitute the victims of the fraud through the United States of America Consulate.
“This matter is of very urgent public interest and concern as it directly tarnishes the image of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Nigeria among the comity of nations.”
In December 2020, a court had ordered the final forfeiture of N235.4 million linked to Okeke.