The Nigeria Police Force has announced the arrest of the son and adopted daughter of Mr. John Okafor, popularly known as Mr. Ibu, for allegedly stealing N50m donation meant to cater for the thespian’s ailing health.
According to the Force, through its Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Alagbon, in Ikoyi, Lagos State, noted that Onyeabuchi Okafor and Jasmine Okekeagwu, allegedly conspired to commit the crime.
Recall that the family of the ailing thespian revealed in October 2023 that the actor had undergone five surgeries, seeking further treatment abroad while appreciating donations from the actor’s fans.
However, the FCID, in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Mayegun Amina, on Thursday, said the arrest followed a petition received from Diamond Waves Law on behalf of the actor’s wife, Stella Okafor, alleging that two sons of Mr. Ibu conspired with his adopted daughter, Jasmine, to defraud their father.
The Force disclosed that investigations showed that the thespian’s phone was hacked by the suspects to carry out the crime.
The statement read in part, “Mr. Ibu’s wife, Mrs. Stella Maris Chinyere Okafor, was initially managing the funds to defray the medical bills of Mr. Ibu and sustain the family. However, along the line, the duo of Onyeabuchi Daniel Okafor and Jasmine Chioma Okekeagwu manipulated Mrs. Stella Maris Chinyere Okafor, took possession of Mr. Ibu’s phone, and hacked into the banking details therein.”
It stated, “They thereafter re-installed the mobile banking applications of Mr. Ibu on the phone of Onyeabuchi Daniel Okafor preparatory to the perfection of their preconceived fraudulent plans and wiped off the banking applications originally installed on Mr. Ibu’s phone, thereby taking direct and full charge of the banking activities of Mr. Ibu in relation to the funds being donated by members of the public in support of his medicals.
“Through this fraudulent act, Onyeabuchi Okafor and Jasmine Okekeagwu started transferring funds from Mr. Ibu’s public fundraising account to Onyeabuchi Daniel Okafor’s personal bank, with forensic analysis of their illicit financial dealing establishing that a total of fifty-five million naira (N55m) had been successfully and criminally transferred prior to their arrest and investigation.
“Investigation also unearthed text messages via WhatsApp between Jasmine and Daniel Okafor, detailing stage-by-stage how they conspired and hatched their criminal plans. It was also established that the two suspects, Jasmine Chioma Okekeagwu and Onyeabuchi Daniel Okafor, had a sham marriage at the Ikoyi Marriage Registry with plans to escape from the country to the UK, where they intended to settle with their proceeds of crime. They already applied for a UK visa in furtherance of this plan prior to their arrest,” the statement added.
The police said the duo had both been charged at the Chief Magistrate Court 1, Yaba, in Charge No. A/06/2024 for conspiracy and stealing.
However, the Force also claimed that it had recovered a sum of N50m form the allegedly stolen N55m.
The statement added, “During the investigation, the stolen fifty-five million naira (N55m) was traced to the bank account of Onyeabuchi Daniel Okafor, wherein it was discovered that they had squandered a total of five million naira (N5m) on questionable transactions, while the balance total of fifty million (N50m) has been recovered from him.
“On the strength of evidence, Onyeabuchi Daniel Okafor and Jasmine Chioma Okekeagwu have been charged to the Chief Magistrate Court 1, Yaba, in Charge No. A/06/2024 for conspiracy and stealing.
“They were granted bail in the sum of N15m with two sureties in like sum, while the case was adjourned to March 11, 2024. Meanwhile, the case file has been forwarded to the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice.”