The Federal Government of Nigeria has reacted to the fraud charges leveled against a number of Nigerians by the United States Government. The Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC on Monday condemned the criminal act by the 77 Nigerians indicted.
According to 1st News, the U.S. federal grand jury indictment had charged 80 people, most of whom are Nigerians, with participating in a massive conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a variety of fraud schemes. The suspects were also accused of laundering the funds through a Los Angeles-based money laundering network.
Named as lead suspects in the indictment are two Nigerians – Valentine Iro, 31, of Carson, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, of Gardena.
Both are alleged to run a bank and money-service accounts that could receive funds fraudulently obtained from victims.
In a statement on Monday, the embassy said the FG “condemns such criminal acts in all ramifications”.
Mohammed Suleiman, the Senior Counsellor/Head of Chancery, signed the statement on behalf of the Ambassador, retired Justice Sylvanus Nsofor.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S., H.E. Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor
FG ready to cooperate with US Govt on fraud case
The statement noted that Nigerians are generally law-abiding and hardworking people. Consequently, the embassy advised against stereotyping on the basis of few bad eggs.
“The Embassy wishes to reaffirm that Nigerians are generally law-abiding and hardworking people wherever they are, including in the U.S.
“We wish to reiterate her willingness to cooperate with the government of the U.S. in accordance with the laid-down universal human rights and due legal processes in the interest of our national. The Embassy, therefore, appeals to her citizens in the U.S. to remain calm and continue to observe the laws of the host country at all times.”
The 77 suspects were named by Nick Hanna at a news conference on August 22. Equally important, Hanna is the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.
Hanna said the fraud cases involved suspects conniving with federal and state agents to dupe unsuspecting victims of their money. The announcement followed the arrest of 14 suspects by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) across the U.S.