By Emmanuel Okogba
The Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Festus Keyamo (SAN) has refuted allegations of being involved in fraudulent activities with a suspected internet scammer, Jerry Elo Ikogho, one of the 78 Nigerians indicted in the massive financial fraud case uncovered by the American agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.
A photo surfaced on Sunday that had both the minister and the suspect smiling and seemingly have a good time. Speaking to TheCable, Keyamo agreed to knowing Ikogho but quickly pointed out that they were only childhood friends.
His words: “He is my childhood friend. We were born in the same town (Ughelli). We attended same church from birth. His parents and mine, best of friends, till tomorrow. His siblings and mine too. Only left for the US about 10-12 years ago.
“Can’t deny him. It’s a family relationship from birth. He’s from a decent family. Hope they got their facts right. The wife has sent the charge to me.
“The authorities clearly stated that he may not have known of the fraudulent schemes, but he helped one or two of them to transfer funds illegally for a fee. And he didn’t declare excess money at the airport. Wish him well.
“In fact that picture is even at the burial of the father of the guy on the far right about 8 years ago. The guy is in the same childhood group like all of us. Likewise the guy on the far left, a lawyer, who died at the National Hospital here in Abuja about 5 years ago.”
EFCC places red-alert on Suspects nationwide
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission has placed a red alert on the 77 Nigerian suspects on the FBI list.