The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, told the court that the two firms were owned by Obinwanne Okeke, “a strong leader of a cybercrime syndicate that specialised in business e-mail compromise.”
Justice Rilwan Aikawa made the forfeiture order following a motion by the commission which earlier secured the temporary forfeiture of the money.
At the resumed hearing on Thursday, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo said the anti-graft agency had published the interim forfeiture order as directed by the court.
Oyedepo said as there was no opposition, the judge should order the permanent forfeiture of the money to the federal government.
After listening to the lawyer, Justice Aikawa ordered the money to be permanently forfeited to the federal government.
“I have seen the application seeking the final forfeiture of the sum of N280.5 million warehoused in the two bank accounts, which was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
“I am satisfied that the requirements enumerated under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related Offences Act have been met by the applicant in this suit; consequently, this application is hereby granted as prayed, as it remains unchallenged.”
Okeke, popularly known as Invictus Obi, is currently standing trial in the United States of America over alleged $11 million cyber fraud.
The 31-year-old Nigerian was, in 2016, celebrated by Forbes as one of Africa’s “most outstanding 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30.”
Okeke was arrested in August by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the ringleader of a cybercrime syndicate that had defrauded a number of American citizens to the tune of $11 million “through fraudulent wire transfer instructions in a massive, coordinated, business e-mail compromise scheme.”