Ukpor Community Disowns Suspected Fraudster Held by FBI

By Ikeugonna Eleke

Ukpor Community of Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, has disowned a suspected fraudster being held by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in America for computer and wire fraud, Obinwanne Okeke.

Okeke, who is the chairman of Invictus Group, and popularly known as Invictus Obi, was last month arrested by men of FBI after what it described as a painstaking investigation that spanned a long time.

The 31 year-old had been celebrated by Forbes Magazine as Africa’s most successful entrepreneur under the age of 30 in 2016, and is reputed to be into real estate and property management, and had even stated that young men like Okeke were proof that there was hope for Africa.

Following his arrest, Fides traveled to Ukpor last Monday to check on his background, and also to find out if his much publicized philanthropy had also been brought back home, but surprisingly most of the indigenes of the predominantly agrarian community said they knew nothing of him.

While most said they did not, and had never heard of him, a few accepted knowing him only after the news of his arrest broke.

The traditional ruler of the community, His Royal Highness, Igwe F.C.N. Onyimadu, who welcomed Fides to his palace, said he did not know Okeke, but only started making enquiries about him after the news of his arrest.

‘I am the Igwe (Monarch) of this community, so I am supposed to know him, but I do not. I doubt if anyone really knows him here, but from my enquiries, he is the son of a former lawmaker, who represented Nnewi South in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Ossy Sam Okeke.

‘His father had four wives, and from my enquiries, this boy is from the last wife. Whoever told you that he has been engaging in philanthropy or been donating books here did not tell you the truth. He may have been doing that all across Africa as we read, but not here in Ukpor.

‘His father’s house is at Nzagha Village, and I can direct you to go there, and you will see that he has not also impacted on his own people, because you will not see any new structure there, not to talk of having children under scholarship,’ the royal father stated.

He urged people not to use the young man as a yardstick to judge an average Ukpor youth, noting that his people were predominantly farmers, and were known for hard work.

‘If anything, I would say he may have picked up that habit in the white man’s land where he lived, because he does not represent what our youths stand for,’ he insisted.

A woman who fries and sells bean cake by the road side in a road leading to his (Okeke’s) father’s house in Ukpor, however said that she remembered him as a child, saying that many years back, he once returned home.

‘We know him here as Nnamdi Okeke, but he has not been back for a long time. I am not aware which business he does, and I am not aware if he is training some children in school. We have not seen him back or heard of him for a very long time,’ she said.

Okeke who was arrested last month by the FBI is facing charges of computer and wire fraud in the US, and is expected to be given a 30-year sentence. He was said to have in one of his computer fraud schemes, scammed an agricultural equipment company of $12million, among other fraudulent acts.

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