Onyema Denies Fraud Allegation, Says ‘I Never Laundered Money In My Life’

 

Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, has denied allegations that he laundered more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts, a claim credited to the US Department of Justice.

According to the Justice Department, Mr Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud.

In a statement issued by his lawyer, Mr Onyema claimed that all allegations are false and do not reflect his personality as a business owner.

”I never laundered money in my life, neither have I committed bank fraud anywhere in the world. Every kobo I transferred to the U.S. for aircraft purchase went through the Central Bank of Nigeria and all were used for the same purpose.”

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He insisted on his innocence on all the indictment and said that the U.S. government will find no dirt on him because he has never conducted any illegal business.

American Laws Go After Those Who Break Them…

Meanwhile, Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, has asked Mr Onyema to face his accusers, stressing that the US Government only go after those who break their laws.

In a series of tweet, the President’s aide said that the Federal Government is yet to be briefed about the situation.

“I do not understand what President Muhammadu Buhari has to do with Mr. Onyema of Airpeace being indicted and charged in the USA.

“According to our Attorney General, the Federation, the Government has not even been informed of the situation; American laws go after those who BREAK them.”

She lamented the way funds meant for the development of the Niger Delta have been looted.

Onochie said: How much has Nigeria invested in the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, NDDC & 13% derivation funds? All, mostly in a black hole Do we know the extent of poverty, ignorance & disease in the Niger Delta? Please let America help us see how Niger Delta underdeveloped Niger Delta.

“Those of us from the Niger Delta who are the direct beneficiaries of the sufferings that emanated from the looting of our wealth will tackle them. It’s our war that is being fought. Laws, Nigerian or American, go after those who break them so we must mind our business.

“We are smarter now than ever before. Gradually, the scales of tribalism, religious affinity and political loyalty, are falling off our eyes and being replaced by Nigerianism.

“Nigerians are not keen on tales by the moonlight. Let him return to America and face his accusers,” she added.

See Lauretta Onochie’s tweets below:

Air Peace Boss Receives Standing Ovation At House Of Reps

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Peace airline, Allen Onyema on Wednesday received a standing ovation from members of the House of Representatives.

The lawmakers had invited Onyema to commend him for offering free services bringing Nigerian citizens caught up in the xenophobic attacks in South Africa back home.

READ ALSO: I Never Expected Commendation Or Award, Onyema Tells Reps

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, shortly after saying the opening prayers, asked that the Order Paper be temporarily suspended to allow the lawmakers to receive Onyema for recognition.

As the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno ushered Onyema into the chamber, the lawmakers gave him a rousing welcome and standing ovation.

Others approached him to embrace and shake hands with him.

Gbajabiamila, while addressing the assembly commended the airline boss over the humanitarian roles he played in the wake of xenophobic attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians in South Africa.

He said the act was a rare show of patriotism that ought to be celebrated.

“We hereby commend Mr Allen Onyeama and recommend him to the federal government for higher honours in Nigeria,” the Speaker said.

Oyemama, in response, thanked the lawmakers for the honour.

He added that his actions were spontaneous and he would do anything to evacuate even a single Nigerian and also seized the opportunity to call for unity across the country.

Speaker Gbajabiamila also went to his official twitter handle @Femigbaja to give details of his meeting with the airline boss.

“I just met with Mr. Allen Onyema the CEO of Aipeace, we owe him gratitude for flying Nigerians stranded in South Africa back home at no cost, his benevolence will not be forgotten. Join me in thanking him,” Gbajabiamila tweeted.

 

I Never Expected Commendation Or Award, Onyema Tells Reps

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Peace airline, Allen Onyema on Wednesday told the House of Representatives that he never expected to receive a recommendation for a national award.

Onyema was invited to the green chambers and recommended for a national award, after he used his airline to freely evacuate Nigerians from South Africa, following the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreigners in the country.

In his remarks, the Air Peace boss thanked the lawmakers for the honour, adding that his actions were spontaneous and he would do anything to evacuate even a single Nigerian.

“I did not do it spontaneously, nor did I do it for publicity, I had to mortgage my landing right in South Africa because I just got the landing right before the crisis.

“I did not give a damn, I never did, because I know that I will not go to heaven with any dime.

“I have never been so honoured in my life. You have brought tears to my eyes. I would not have been able to do this if the federal government did not allow me or assemble those people for me to evacuate,” he said.

READ ALSO: Xenophobia: Why Air Peace Is Evacuating Nigerians For Free – CEO

Onyema had earlier told Channels Television in an interview that he is using his airline to freely evacuate Nigerians from South Africa because he wants the world to see Nigeria respected as a nation

Speaking further in the interview, he noted that evacuation of foreigners from another country isn’t a good sign for the affected nation involved.

On Wednesday last week, the Air Peace airline evacuated no fewer than 185 Nigerians who indicate interest to return home as a result of the xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa.

Another set of about 319 people are expected to return to the country today but the trip earlier suffered a setback as a result of landing permit.

Having resolved the issue and secured the permit for the plane to land in Johannesburg, Onyema said the South African authorities gave the airline an arrival time.

He insisted that it was not the first time he was making a contribution to the nation’s development and highlighted his role in restoring peace to the Niger Delta in the heat of militancy in the region.

Xenophobia: Why Air Peace Is Evacuating Nigerians For Free – CEO

The Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace Airline, Mr Allen Onyema, has explained why the company is offering free service in the evacuation of Nigerians in the wake of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Onyema told Channels Television in an interview on Tuesday that there was no personal motive in extending a helping hand as the gesture was only for the good of the Nigerian People.

“The motivation here is the fact that I want to see Nigeria respected as a nation,” he said while featuring as a guest on Politics Today.

READ ALSO: Reps Recommend Air Peace Chairman For National Award

The airline chief added, “It is unfortunate that a lot of people didn’t know who Allen Onyeama is; it’s not the first time I’ve been doing things like that.”

Air Peace Airline CEO, Allen Onyema.

On Wednesday last week, the airline evacuated no fewer than 185 Nigerians who indicate interest to return home as a result of the xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa.

Another set of about 319 people are expected to return to the country today but the trip suffered a setback as a result of landing permit.

 

The End Of Militancy

Having resolved the issue and secured the permit for the plane to land in Johannesburg, Onyema said the South African authorities gave the airline an arrival time.

He insisted that it was not the first time he was making contribution to the nation’s development and highlighted his role in restoring peace to the Niger Delta in the heat of militancy in the region.

The Air Peace boss said, “I expended more than this pursuing the issue of the Niger Delta question when there was violent militancy in the Niger Delta. I was the one who brought non-violence education into this country for the first time in order to address the issue of violent militancy.

“Everybody says that I was the one who was instrumental in bringing the violent militancy down; it was because of my programme that made it possible for them (the militants) to agree to accept the amnesty in the first place and I was the one who trained over 30,000 of them who were registered.”

Onyema stated that he started the transformation in the region and sponsored repentant militants to South Africa before getting support from the oil companies in the region.

He noted that he spent “several millions of my money” going into the creeks to empower repentant militants in 2014.

On his recommendation by the House of Representatives for a national award, Onyema noted that he was not aware of the development before the interview.

He said, “I’m hearing the national honour from you, I’ve not heard it before. This is the first time I’m hearing something like that.”