The Sad Story of Air Peace CEO, Allen Onyema
ElevateNews takes a look at the sad side of the Air Peace CEO, Allen Onyema
It is sad that the Air Peace, which became the toast of all Nigerians over its role in providing respite for Nigerian victims of the xenophobic attack in South Africa, has been alleged of fraud by the United States Government.
The US Government named the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema and the company’s chief of administration and finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha in money laundering and various bank frauds, involving $20 million.
A few days ago, I read on the wall of a popular supporter of the ruling All Progressives Congress about another allegation of fraud against Onyema and how the APC fans celebrated this story on the facebook page.
I was a bit disturbed that some Nigerians could derive pleasure from such news about a man who singlehandedly sponsored the evacuation of Nigerians who were being killed in South Africa.
Onyema’s gesture endeared him to Nigerians as he became a role model for rendering help, which cost him millions of naira to do. He was also celebrated by the House of Representatives for his good role.
The jubilation by a clique of APC over charges against Onyema made me infer that some politicians may be behind this alleged fraud charges and it is quite unfortunate.
One should not be misquoted. Onyema should be investigated over this allegation but the issue must be properly managed by the appropriate authorities in Nigeria.
If not, it will cost thousands of our compatriots their jobs. Of course, there is no way this will not negatively affect the Nigerian Aviation sector. Same goes for how authorities in the US will be treating others in the shoes of the Air Peace boss.
Onyema has since denied this allegation in a press conference on Saturday, describing it as false. He stated that he had never in his life launder money and that the allegation does not reflect his personality as a business owner.
But Mr Onyema in his statement argued that he is innocent, as the indictment only contained charges.
“Be rest assured that I also have my lawyers on this and these mere allegations will be refuted. I never laundered money in my life, neither have I committed bank fraud anywhere in the world. Every Kobo I transferred to the US for aircraft purchase went through the Central Bank of Nigeria LC regime and all were used for the same purpose.
Investigation revealed however that some State governors must have used Onyema’s business to launder money, which of course the Nigerian Government must probe.
Another question is whether the alleged laundered money is associated with drug issue or does it have the foreign-backed conspiracy to bring down a very promising Nigerian-based international airline?
Don’t forget, foreigners often want to have a piece of the pie.
The EFCC should get involved in investigating this and of course the Nigeria Embassy in the US; the National Intelligence Agency to ascertain the charges, perhaps it has a political connotation to want to dent the image of this great Nigerian.
The last should go to Nigeria’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General: What really happened? How will this affect our country and what are we doing to prevent a reoccurrence? If a serving or former Governor is involved, when will EFCC pick such up?