Festus Keyamo, minister of state for Niger Delta affairs, has confirmed that he is friends with Jerry Ikogho (pictured wearing glasses), one of the cyber fraud suspects apprehended by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
A picture of Keyamo and Ikogho has been trending online, sparking different reactions.
Ikhogo is number three on the 77-man list of Nigerian fraud suspects released by the FBI on Thursday.
Keyomo confirmed to TheCable that he and Ikogho were born in Ughelli, Delta state, and grew up as childhood friends.
According to him, the picture was taken in 2011 at the burial of the father of one of the two other men who appeared in the picture.
The senior advocate said the suspect is from “a decent home”, adding that he hoped that the American authorities got their facts right.
He explained that Ikoago left Nigeria for the United States about a decade ago.
“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,” Keyamo said.
“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.”
Below are some of the reactions that trailed the picture.
Beware of who you call your friends, folks you don’t know their source of income and do not take pictures with people you are not too sure of. Jerry Elo Ikogho, one of the FBI indicted fraudsters, is Festus Keyamo’s friend. Am sure Oga Keyamo would have something to tell us! pic.twitter.com/kvabG8s8O2
— Revolutionary Jackson Ude (@jacksonpbn) August 24, 2019
All of a sudden all Keyamo's friends and colleagues are turning out to be fraudsters. God has a wicked sense of humour sha oo
— Babasola Kuti (@RealSolaKuti) August 25, 2019
Festus must go to Amelika and clear his name. Buhari minister of state for ND can’t be romancing number 3 on FBI list and expect us to discard nothing between them
Keyamo must go to Amelika. 🤣🤣🤣
— Poju (@pojugreat) August 24, 2019