EFCC interrogate Air Peace boss Onyema, make revelations

Written by  November 30 2019 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has interrogated the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Ifechukwu Onyema, over the alleged $44.9 million wire deals.

The Nation reports that Onyema, has been placed on administrative bail and remains under surveillance.

Among others, Onyema in the unsealed indictment by the United States purchased an armoured Lexus LX570 ($204,000); Rolls Royce ($180,000); and Mercedez Benz ($88,500) with laundered money.

An EFCC source told the newspaper that the probe of Onyema was part of the ongoing collaboration with the FBI and other security networks on wire deals which involves Air Peace Finance Officer Ejiroghene Eghagha and two banks were implicated.

The source said: “Our team of detectives on Wednesday interacted with Onyema in our Lagos office on the wire deals, especially on issues involving money laundering.

“The questioning was part of our ongoing collaboration with the FBI and other agencies in line with the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between Nigeria and the United States.

“We decided to release Onyema on administrative bail in deference to his constitutional right of innocence until proven guilty.

But Onyema is on surveillance by the EFCC pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.”

On why the probe started after the United States indicted Onyema, the source said: “There are vital Nigerian components of the indictment and demands of the US Government.

“For instance, the US is seeking the forfeiture of over $13 million left in some accounts linked with the suspect in the United States and Canada. The funds are $4,017,852.51 in JP Morgan Chase Bank in the US and $4,593,842.05 and $5,634,842.04 in the Bank of Montreal, Canada.

We cannot rule out some of the money in some accounts in Nigeria. And our investigation may reveal the identities of other accomplices. Also, two Nigerian banks have been mentioned in the wire deals, especially transactions on purchase of aircraft.

“If there are assets to be seized in Nigeria, we have to collaborate with the US Government on the forfeiture process.”

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