The Chairman/CEO of the commission, NIDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has advised Nigerians indicted in conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through various fraudulent schemes in the United States to turn themselves in to the authorities for trial or risk being extradited.
Her comments are coming after the U.S. on Friday announced the arrest and prosecution of 80 alleged fraudsters, many of them Nigerian, in what it called a massive conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through various schemes.
The announcement was made by Nick Hanna, the U.S. attorney, who alleged that the suspects connived with state and federal agencies to carry out their acts.
“A 252-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed today charges 80 defendants, most of whom are Nigerian nationals, with participating in a massive conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a variety of fraud schemes and launder the funds through a Los Angeles-based money laundering network,” the department of justice of the Central District of California said in a statement on its website.
Dabiri-Erewa expressed the commission’s deep concern about the news of the court indictment of 80 persons by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, particularly Nigerians for alleged fraudulent activities in the U.S.
The NIDCOM CEO said that prior to the court indictment of the 80 suspects of which one Valentine Iro and one Chukwudi Igbokwe were lead suspects, one Obinwanne Okeke had earlier been arrested in Virginia.
“We acknowledge the fact that accusation does not mean guilt, and we hope that all the accused will be given fair and speedy trial.
“We also ask those accused in Nigeria to voluntarily turn themselves in to American authorities to clear their names without which the Nigerian government should extradite them if relevant international treaties between the two governments are invoked,” she said.
“We advise and continuously resist any stereotype of Nigerians generally.
“The commission will continue to monitor the case closely,” Dabiri-Erewa added. .