Church Founder Wanted by FBI Arrested by EFCC in Enugu

Nigeria's anti-graft agency arraigns Atiku's lawyer, relative on graft charges

Operatives of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested Kelechi Vitalis Anozie, a suspected fraudster who has been a person of interest to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 2019.

In a statement on Thursday, the EFCC said its operatives arrested Anozie on March 10, following an investigative trail of activities connected to fraud and illegal money laundering.

Anozie, a self-professed clergyman and four other suspects: Bright Azubuike (alias Bright Bauer Azubuike), Valentine Iro, Ekene Ekechukwu (alias Ogedi Power), and Ifeanyi Junior are alleged to have defrauded one F.F, resident in Illinois, United States, the sum of $182,800.

The suspect, who is the founder of a church called Praying City Church in Owerri, Imo State, was first placed on a watch list in 2019. The FBI had announced charges against 80 people, most of them Nigerians, in a wide-ranging fraud and money laundering operation that netted millions of dollars from victims of internet con jobs.

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The announcement of Anozie’s arrest comes a few days after the EFCC revealed that its operatives arrested one Osondu Igwilo who has been on the watchlist of the FBI since 2018.

EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed this in a statement on Monday, adding that the suspect was apprehended by operatives of the anti-graft agency in Lagos.

According to him, Igwilo was arrested Thursday last week alongside three others – Okafor Chris, Nwodu Emmanuel, and John Achukwu.

Igwilo, 52, said to be the alleged leader of a criminal syndicate of ‘catchers’, was arrested at a studio in the Sangotedo area of Lagos for alleged fraud, money laundering, and identity theft to the tune of about $100 million.

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Igwilo, the EFCC spokesman stated, was consequently placed on the FBI watchlist following a criminal complaint filed against him at the U.S. District Court in Houston, Texas in December 2016.

The anti-graft agency’s operatives recovered five houses located in choice areas of Lagos from Igwilo following the arrest. The suspects would soon be charged to court.

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