FBI Arrests Nigerian Citizen Attempting to Flee US with Family After Alleged Fraud Involving DC Transit Authority in COVID-19 Supply Scheme

Ifediora Oli, a citizen of both Nigeria and the United States, was taken into custody by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for his involvement in an alleged scheme to defraud the District of Columbia’s public transit system.


This scheme revolved around a contract valued at over $500,000 for Covid-19 testing kits.

According to documents obtained by the Peoples Gazette, Oli, aged 41, swiftly arranged flights for himself, his partner, and his daughter to Nigeria upon discovering that he was under investigation by the U.S. government.

The investigation was related to his handling of a contract worth $659,000, which was intended for supplying pandemic testing kits to the District of Columbia’s Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS).

FBI Special Agent Deborah Frye gathered evidence supporting a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 28, leading to Oli’s subsequent arrest at his residence in Silver Spring, Maryland, on April 2.

Oli, who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was reportedly operating his own side business, Highbury Global Group, Inc., in violation of U.S. law. Allegedly, he collaborated with a longtime friend identified as co-conspirator 1, who was a staff member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA), along with co-conspirator 2 (the romantic partner of co-conspirator 1), to secure and profit from a government contract unlawfully.

Co-conspirator 2, also known as BriBri, was employed as a contract specialist at the Office of Contracting and Procurement (OCP), an agency responsible for awarding government contracts.

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According to Ms. Frye, co-conspirator 2 leveraged her position to influence the selection of Oli’s company, Highbury, for the contract to supply medical test kits to DFS in 2021, ultimately benefiting personally from this arrangement.

The allegations suggest a complex network of influence and misuse of government positions for personal gain, culminating in Oli’s arrest and ongoing legal proceedings.

“Co-conspirator 2 again wrote the official about Highbury and asked, ‘Are we not moving forward with the award? The vendor has already confirmed immediate delivery upon receipt of the PO.” Ms Frye stated in her March 28 affidavit.

According to the FBI agent, Mr. Oli received $630,000 in payment for a job completed in 2021. Subsequently, he wired $145,000 in two separate transactions to co-conspirator 1, with specific instructions to provide co-conspirator 2 with $15,000 in cash. This transfer was ostensibly intended as a gesture of gratitude for securing the contract bid.

“I add 5k for BriBri,” read a June 2021 WhatsApp message obtained by the FBI from Mr Oli’s phone. “Cash only for bri bri.”

In another WhatsApp message in October 2021, after the completion of the Covid-19 contract, Mr Oli asked his friend, “Give bri bri 10k.”

The cash gift violated a U.S. law that prohibits District employees from benefiting from awarded contracts.

“No officer or employee of the District will be admitted to any share or part of this contract or to any benefit that may arise,” the provision explicitly stated.

Mr. Oli is being represented by Nigerian-American criminal defense attorney John Iweanoge. The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Timothy Visser from the fraud, public corruption, and civil rights section.

The prosecution aims to demonstrate that Mr. Oli deprived the U.S. government of funds and the honest services of its employees.