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Police recover N50m stolen from Mr Ibu, charge son, lover to court

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Detectives at the Force Criminal Investigation Department Annex, Alagbion, Ikoyi, Lagos, have recovered N50 million allegedly withdrawn from the hacked bank account of ailing Nollywood actor, Mr. John Okafor, widely known as Mr. Ibu.

This also led to the arrest of Mr. Ibu’s son, Onyebuchi Okafor and his lover, Jasmine Okekeagwu.

They were subsequently charged to court over conspiracy and stealing.

ASP Mayegun Aminat, spokesperson for the FCID, stated that the arrest followed a petition received from Diamond Waves Law on behalf of Mr. Ibu’s wife, Stella Maris Okafor, dated September 6, 2023.

The petition alleged that Mr. Ibu’s sons, Daniel and Valentine Okafor, along with Jasmine Okekeagwu, conspired to defraud Mr. Ibu.

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According to her, investigation revealed that as part of the effort to fund Mr. Ibu’s medical bills, he initiated a public fundraising initiative that attracted donations from fans, entertainment industry players, and the public.

“Mrs. Stella Maris Chinyere Okafor, Mr. Ibu’s wife, initially managed the funds for medical bills and family support.

“However, Onyeabuchi Daniel Okafor and Jasmine Chioma Okekeagwu allegedly manipulated Mrs. Stella Maris Okafor, gaining access to Mr. Ibu’s phone and hacking into his banking details,” Aminat stated.

She explained that the duo took control of Mr. Ibu’s mobile banking applications, wiped off the original applications, installed a new one on Daniel Okafor’s mobile and initiated fraudulent transfers from the public fundraising account to Daniel Okafor’s personal bank account.

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A total of N55 million was said to have been criminally transferred before their arrest.

She added that forensic analysis traced the stolen funds to Onyeabuchi Okafor’s account, where it was discovered that N5 million had been spent on questionable transactions, while the remaining N50 million was successfully recovered.

It was also established through investigations that the two suspects, Jasmine Okekeagwu and Onyeabuchi Okafor had a sham marriage at the Ikoyi Marriage Registry with plans to escape from the country to the United Kingdom, where they intended to settle with their proceeds of crime.

They already applied for a UK Visa in furtherance to the plan before their arrest.

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The investigation also uncovered text messages via WhatsApp between Jasmine Chioma and Daniel Okafor detailing stage-by-stage how they conspired and hatched their criminal plans.

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Onyeabuchi Okafor and Jasmine Okekeagwu have been charged to the Chief Magistrates Court 1, Yaba, with the case adjourned to March 11, 2024.

Both were granted bail in the sum of N15 million with two sureties in like sum.

The case file has been forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice.

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