Last Updated on
- Onyema passport has been seized by EFCC
- Nigeria’s anti-graft agency said extradition of Air Peace boss lies in the office Justice Minister
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed that the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace Allen Onyema is cooperating with the officials of the anti-graft agency over fraud allegation levelled against him by the US government. to the tune of $20 million (N7,250,000,000).
In a report by The Nation, EFCC also confirmed the seizure of the passport of the Air Peace boss to restrict his movement until the investigation is completed.
Allen Onyema is being investigated over US’ indictment in which he allegedly moved over $20 million in questionable circumstances.
It was gathered that Onyema’s passports will be in custody of EFCC as investigations continue and his movements, temporarily restricted.
Troubled started with the philanthropist when the US Justice Department released details of how Onyema moved more than $20 million from Nigeria through US bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of aeroplanes.
The Air Peace was indicted alongside Ejiroghene Eghagha, the airline’s chief of administration and finance.
US says both men committed aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme which punishable.
A US court was also reported to have issued a warrant to arrest Onyema and authorised US marshals service to bring him into custody.
EFCC was said to have invited the airline boss on his involvement in the alleged scam.
The Nation quoted a source as saying, “Following his interaction with our detectives, it became imperative to restrict his movement to the country because we will need him from time to time,” the newspaper quoted a source in the commission have said.
“We have seized his passports for an unfettered comprehensive investigation. And so far, he has cooperated with our team.
“During our interaction, he maintained his innocence. We have, however, made progress in our preliminary investigation.
“The extradition process is within the purview of the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. You should not forget that the EFCC has to investigate, establish prima facie case and arraigning the suspects in court before any extradition application can be initiated.
“The US government knows what to do as far as the invocation of the MLAT is concerned. We are only fulfilling our own part of the collaboration with the relevant US agencies.”
In 2014, the spokesman of ex-Militant Leaders Forum in the Niger Delta, Diepreye Dikibo, accused Onyema of using Niger Amnesty Programme money to set up the Air Peace airline.
Chief Kingsley Kuku, a former adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, was also indicted by Dikibo’s allegation at the time.