Letter from Africa: Why Nigeria's internet scammers are 'role models'

27 September 2019



In our series of letters from African writers, Nigerian novelist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani laments that internet scammers have become role models for many youths in her country.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US has indicted 80 people - 77 of them Nigerians - in what it describes as the "largest case of online fraud in US history".

But most shocking for Nigerians was the separate arrest of their internationally celebrated business tycoon, Obinwanne Okeke.

The head of Nigeria's Invictus Group, which has interests in sectors ranging from agriculture to real estate, he was named by the respected Forbes magazine in 2016 as one of its 30 top African entrepreneurs aged under 30.

Now Mr Okeke - or Invictus Obi as he is popularly known - is accused by the US authorities of stealing $11m (£8m) in one online scam alone.

He pleaded not guilty in court last week, and was remanded in custody. Read the full article on BBC here.