Depending on where/when you first heard his name, Obinwanne Okeke is many things: a celebrated young entrepreneur, an eloquent millionaire or most recently, a very daring internet fraudster.
Before Friday, Obinwanne Okeke was mostly known as the 30-something-year-old CEO/founder of the Invictus Group of Companies. Nigerians love a success story and Okeke took the media for a long ride.
We’re sure nobody pressed for a serious explanation of how he makes money, because while they praised his business acumen, Invictus was (allegedly) committing wire fraud.
As you’d expect, no-one is talking about how he achieved such an amazing feat, which is weird because, as you should know, Nigeria has earned a reputation for grooming daring internet fraudsters.
If you’re one of those people who has hung a photo of Convictus in their room, I’m breaking Obinwanne Okeke’s story into a 10-point timeline to show you how he pulled off this scam and got caught.
- Become An Internet Fraudster
I mean, it’s pretty obvious, right? What separates you from the guys sweating in the only surviving cybercafe in Surulere is that you’ll have to start big. Sending an email to the White House explaining how your father, Nigeria’s first petroleum minister, stashed 30 billion dollars and you need just 200,000
- Dress Like A Nigerian Millionaire
Have you gathered enough money? Then you deserve to look like the boss that you are. That doesn’t mean dressing like a tacky Gucci model with self-esteem issues. You, sir, are an entrepreneur who must now spend every waking moment dressed in the ‘Lagos Big-Boy’ starter pack – white shirts, no tie and a ring to put Don Corleone to shame. Or just show off long trad and leather slippers. Simple and effective, like a choir uniform.
- Get A Degree From A Foreign University
Every Nigerian, especially Salisu Buhari, knows that a university degree is the only way to answer questions about how you showed up from nowhere with plenty of money and ambition. Extra points if you can get one from the UK or Australia. Whatever you do, don’t use the University of Toronto. Houdegbe North American University does not count.
- Create A Conglomerate
Your money is obviously too dirty for Forbes at the moment, meaning some laundering is in order. There’s no better way than to create your own elaborate business. Know any absurd greek word that have nothing to do with anything? Then add ‘group of companies’ to it – voila, that’s your company name. All that’s left is to rent a building, create a website and find a graphic designer. When people ask what you do, tell them you have diverse portfolios. They’ll be too impressed to ask for details.
- Start An NGO for Children
Starting an NGO is like kissing children during a political rally; everyone assumes there’s some good in you, even if you’re just trying to steal money in peace.
- Never Speak In Dollars Again
I don’t need to explain this to you, do I? How do you expect people to believe your millionaire mindset when you can’t say “10 million dollar equity investment” with your full chest? Also, no-one may have told you this but your pronunciation of ‘Sonera’ reeks of poverty.
- Become A Public Intellectual
Are you really a successful Nigerian if you’ve not stood in front of thousands to tell them why they’re not as successful as you? Now that you have the money, the business and the story, you need to appear like a captain in your field by appearing on as many panels on business & wealth as possible. Take them as they come. Are you worried that you’ll be out of depth and not know what everyone’s talking about? When has that ever stopped anyone? Like Fela Durotoye, you can always acquire to perspire your desire so you can refire all that you require, my man!
- Get Yourself In The News
It’s time to get on the Forbes list. I know the smaller blogs will have begun writing about you at this stage, but you must kickstart your effort from home. Start by sending your story to every Nigerian media house with the headline “Millionaire Nigerian Entrepreneur Shares Tips To Make Your First Million Before 15”. Even if the audience doesn’t bite, the pressmen will be in a hurry to kiss your crack on their cover issue/frontpage in exchange for a token of your appreciation. Don’t be surprised when the email from Forbes comes in.
- Take As Many Photos As You Can
Now that you’re on Forbes and your Instagram is a motivational speaker’s wet dream, what more do you have to live for? More infamy? That’s what we were thinking too. That’s why we hope you’ve been as messy as possible. Did you host lavish champagne parties while you were supposedly finding your feet in university? Great. We need a few photos. Did you commit wire fraud with an IP tied to your personal email? Even better. Remember when we asked you to take photos when you travel for scams? Did that too? Wonderful. It’s one of the ways the FBI will find you.
See, if you’re one of those people who’s hung up a photo of Obinwanne Okeke in his room, or has been discussing why he’s not the real problem with Nigeria, here’s a quick reminder that internet fraud is a crime that has cost a country’s reputation, thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
Stay in the green, kids. It may take a minute but like Obinwanne Okeke, you’ll always get what’s coming.