Imo State governor, Emeka Ihedioha has said there is an attempt by disgruntled elements in the state to malign his name by linking him with Mr. Augustine Chika Odionyenma, who was among the about 80 Nigeria fraudsters implicated by the Federal Bureau of Information (FBI) of the United States of America for offences connected with money laundering and wire transfer.
Mr. Ihedioha said this on Monday in a press statement by Chibuike Onyeukwu, his Chief Press Secretary, blaming dubious characters for being behind “a malicious report” trending on the internet.
In the report, Governor Ihedioha was seen in a photo (shown above) sitting on a sofa with Odionyema, the No. 18 on the list of fraudsters said to be released by the FBI.
The statement said, “It has become necessary to disclaim as false and malicious, a report in the social media that the 2019 electioneering campaign of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON, Governor of Imo State was bankrolled by Mr. Augustine Chika Odionyenma, who is reported to have been implicated by the Federal Bureau of Information (FBI) of the United States of America for offences connected with money laundering and wire transfer.
“His Excellency was not aware if he is invloved in any form of crime or being investigated for financial crimes.
“We are not unaware that the false report is sponsored by some elements who have held Imo State down over the years and are known to have perpertrated various fraudulent acts. Their attempt to malign the hard earned reputation and integrity of His Excellency has already failed.
“Nigerians have received the malicious report with disbelief, given the credibility and upright trajectory of His Excellency who is a role model to the younger generations.”
On Thursday, the FBI had in a massive bust of online fraud, arrested some Nigerians across the United States and declared others abroad wanted.
Federal prosecutors announced a 252-count indictment that accused 80 people in the U.S. and Nigeria of participating in a “massive conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a variety of fraud schemes.”
The defendants are accused of laundering the funds through a Los Angeles-based money laundering network. Eleven of them were reportedly arrested Thursday in Southern California, while three others were taken into custody elsewhere in the U.S., according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.