Obinwanne Okeke: Anambra community disowns FBI held suspected fraudster
Ukpor community of Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State has disowned Obinwanne Okeke, a suspected fraudster, who is being held by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in America for computer and wire fraud.
Okeke, who is the Chairman of Invictus Group and most popularly known as Invictus Obi, was last month arrested by men of the 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, ND REPORTERS travelled to Ukpor on Monday to check on his background, and also find out if his much publicized philanthropy had 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 have 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 FCN Onyimadu, the Nwajiaku IV of Ukpor who welcomed ND REPORTERS to his palace on Monday said he does 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 was 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.
“I urge people not to use this young man as a yardstick to judge an average Ukpor youth, because our people are predominantly farmers, and are 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 stood for.”
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 US, and some people have said he may go in for a 30-year sentence.
He was said to have in one of his computer fraud scammed an agricultural equipment company of $12million, among other fraudulent acts.