In a dramatic revelation, the police have successfully traced and recovered a staggering N55 million stolen from the bank account of Nollywood icon Mr. John Okafor, popularly known as Mr. Ibu. The arrest of Mr. Ibu’s son, Onyebuchi Okafor, and his accomplice, Jasmine Okekeagwu, sheds light on a complex fraud scheme that has sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry.
The investigation unfolded following a petition from Diamond Waves Law on behalf of Mr. Ibu’s wife, Stella Maris Okafor. Dated September 6, 2023, the petition detailed a conspiracy involving Mr. Ibu’s sons, Daniel and Valentine Okafor, and Jasmine Okekeagwu, aiming to defraud the ailing actor.
Initiating a public fundraising campaign to support Mr. Ibu’s medical bills, the actor inadvertently became the target of a fraudulent plot. Onyeabuchi Daniel Okafor and Jasmine Chioma Okekeagwu allegedly manipulated Mrs. Stella Maris Okafor, gaining access to Mr. Ibu’s phone and infiltrating his banking details.
The duo took control of Mr. Ibu’s mobile banking applications, replacing them with fraudulent versions on Daniel Okafor’s device. This facilitated the diversion of a substantial N55 million from the public fundraising account to Daniel Okafor’s personal bank account before their apprehension.
Forensic analysis revealed that N5 million had been spent on questionable transactions from the stolen funds, with the remaining N50 million successfully recovered from Onyeabuchi Okafor’s account. Further investigation uncovered a sham marriage between Jasmine Okekeagwu and Onyeabuchi Okafor, signaling plans to escape to the United Kingdom with the illicit proceeds. Astonishingly, they had already applied for a UK Visa before being apprehended.
Compelling evidence emerged from WhatsApp messages exchanged between Jasmine Chioma and Daniel Okafor, detailing the meticulous execution of their criminal activities. Onyeabuchi Okafor and Jasmine Okekeagwu now face charges at the Chief Magistrates Court 1, Yaba, with the case scheduled for March 11, 2024. Both defendants were granted bail at N15 million each, with two sureties in like sum.
The case file has been forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, marking a significant step towards justice in exposing and rectifying this financial scandal.