Allen Ifechukwu Athan Onyema, the Chairman, CEO, and founder of Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, has been charged with bank fraud and money laundering for moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.
The Nigerian businessman was accused of moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through US bank accounts in a scheme involving “false documents” based on the purchase of airplanes.
Onyema was indicted alongside Ejiroghene Eghagha, the airline’s chief of administration and finance, who is said to have committed aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.
In a statement issued by the district attorney’s office on Friday, Onyema and Eghagha were indicted on November 19, 2019, on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, three counts of bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit credit application fraud, and three counts of credit application fraud.
“Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud,” Byung J, US attorney for the northern district of Georgia, was quoted in the statement.
“We will diligently protect the integrity our banking system from being corrupted by criminals, even when they disguise themselves in a cloak of international business.”
Robert J. Murphy, the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Atlanta field division, also said: “Allen Onyema’s status as a wealthy businessman turned out to be a fraud. He corrupted the U.S. banking system, but his trail of deceit and trickery came to a skidding halt.”
Robert Hammer, another special agent, accused Onyema of setting up “various innocent sounding multi-million dollar asset purchases which were nothing more than alleged fronts for his scam”.
Onyema was said to have started travelling frequently to Atlanta, where he opened several personal and business bank accounts. Between 2010 and 2018, over $44.9 million was allegedly transferred into his Atlanta-based accounts from foreign sources.
After he founded Air Peace in 2013, Onyema was said to have gone to the US to purchase aircraft and “over $3 million of the funds used to purchase the aircraft allegedly came from bank accounts for Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Center for Non-Violence and Peace Development, All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited, and Every Child Limited.
“Beginning in approximately May 2016, Onyema, together with Eghagha, allegedly used a series of export letters of credit to cause banks to transfer more than $20 million into Atlanta-based bank accounts controlled by Onyema. The letters of credit were purportedly to fund the purchase of five separate Boeing 737 passenger planes by Air Peace. The letters were supported by documents such as purchase agreements, bills of sale, and appraisals proving that Air Peace was purchasing the aircraft from Springfield Aviation Company LLC, a business registered in Georgia.
“However, the supporting documents were fake — Springfield Aviation Company LLC, which is owned by Onyema and managed by a person with no connection to the aviation business, never owned the aircraft, and the company that allegedly drafted the appraisals did not exist. Eghagha allegedly participated in this scheme as well, directing the Springfield Aviation manager to sign and send false documents to banks and even using the manager’s identity to further the fraud. After Onyema received the money in the United States, he allegedly laundered over $16 million of the proceeds of the fraud by transferring it to other accounts.”
The statement, however, added that Onyema and Eghagha are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
In September, Onyema was hailed by many for evacuating Nigerians stranded in South Africa at no cost. The house of representatives had subsequently also recommend him for national award.
COVID-19: Delta govt sets up food bank
To cushion the effects of the lockdown in Delta, which became effective on Wednesday, to stem the spread of Coronavirus to the state, the state government on Monday announced that it had established a food bank in the state.
This was made known on Monday by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, while briefing newsmen after an enlarged meeting of the Central Committee On Managing and Containing The Coronavirus Pandemic In Delta, presided over by the Chairman and Governor of the State, Sen, (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, in Asaba.
Aniagwu, who was with his Bureau for Special Duties counterpart, Mr Mofe Pirah and Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) in the state, Mr Itiako Ikpokpo, said that aside the food bank, all political appointees in the state would forfeit their one month Subvention to their offices as contribution to the funds to provide palliatives to the people.
According to him, committees are also to be set up at the State, local government, ward and unit levels to ensure that the food items get to all, especially the vulnerable in the society.
Aniagwu said, “about six days ago, effective lockdown was initiated in our State to check the spread of Covid-19 and at an enlarged meeting of the committee presided by the Chairman, who is our Governor, Deltans were praised for the level of compliance and understanding that the lockdown was the best option to check the spread of the virus.
“Deltans were urged to continue with the cooperation as there is no single case of the disease in the state, and we thank God and pray that there is no incident.
“The situation calls for a lot of sacrifice and Deltans were commended for their sacrifice and the patience, and as a way to cushion the effects of the lockdown, a food bank has been set up and committees will be set up at the local government, ward and unit levels to ensure that the food gets to everybody.
“All political appointees in the State will also, sacrifice one month subvention as part of their contributions to ameliorating the effects of the virus.”
In his contribution, Pirah told journalist that the state government was not going to give cash to the people, saying“ what every home needs now is food and we have been receiving food items and different donations from individuals and corporate organisations at our food bank in Ibusa.
“Food will get to the needy, people who cannot make purchase, but we should be patient and know that the lockdown will soon come to an end.
“At the meeting, government sympathized with the family of the unfortunate incident in Warri and called for calm as the law will take its course.”
On his part, Ikpokpo recalled that the lockdown began in the state about a week ago, and said that the only solution to the virus currently was to check its spread.
“We still have some pockets of people who wander out of their homes during this lockdown; although our Governor has never advocated for the use of force, we appeal to all Deltans to obey instructions.
“We are expanding the market hours to between 8a.m. and 2 pm, same is applicable to petrol stations because our Governor is concerned about the welfare of Deltans and he is working to ensure that in spite of the fact that the situation was not caused by anybody, the effects will not be so much.
“People at the border towns of Alifekede, Mbiri, Ologbo and Idumuje Ugboko should be vigilant so that visitors will not come through there and put all of us at risk.
“Deltans should be vigilant and report any person who enters the country recently and any case of extortion should be reported immediately because, the government is very proactive and citizens have a lot of roles to play for us to be safe,” he said.
At the food bank, items were seen being discharged from trucks and the Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Mofe Pirah, who received the goods on behalf of the state government, expressed gratitude to the donor, Jayta Petroleum and Commodities Nigeria Limited.
He stated that the firm, Mercyland, a church in Warri, among others, have made donations that ranged from bags of rice, tubers of yams to noodles to complement the items already procured by the state government for distribution to the people.
The Group Managing Director of Jayta Petroleum and Commodities Nigeria Limited, Mr Emmanuel Onyenweli Akuba, stated that donating the food items was very important at this period of the pandemic , adding that it was meant to assist the state government in reaching out to the needy in the society.
COVID-19: Apostle Suleman’s shocking revelations expose those behind virus
Senior Pastor and General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, Johnson Suleman (popularly known as Apostle Suleman), has made shocking revelations about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease ravaging the world.
Speaking during his church ‘Fire Night’ programme, held on Friday 27th March, 2020, the clergy said the agenda behind COVID-19 is to create a new world order.
Read the statement below:
“The Lord said I gave this world to man and as such I don’t do anything in the world until man invites me with understanding in the place of prayer. The nation in question (China) has sinned greatly against the Lord. They wanted to make thier own moon shine brighter than the natural moon. Their power tussle is between a particular nation and they want to bring that nation under their feet.
“Covid-19 is an experiment and they are happy that they could shake the world and they would wait for another two years. In 2022 if I tarry to come, something worse will still come and it will originate from them.
“The world leaders are coming together to make a synergy that will make all religions have a common ground and the pope is part of it. America is their target but the current president Donald Trump is their obstacle. America should not joke with the next general elections as they will all support the opponent.
“The opponent is not the issue but his running mate is the issue. The running mate is a lady and If the opponent wins, the opponent will be impeached for the lady to take over and fulfill the new world order.
“Their agenda is to humiliate him(Trump). They have succeeded in humiliating him while they are free from it but the prayer of the saints will reverse it and America will be healed. The virus was manufactured by this people (China) it is not a biological issue, it is a chemical weapon.
“Many people contacted it through testing, once you go for the test you are infected. The few that are not positive is to balance the equation and make people believe it is real.
“The vaccine will come, but the vaccine will carry the actual disease. It is loaded with signals to control the human body by sending signals from the body to their data base, that would be the only proof to them that you are safe, virus free and you are not contaminated.
“When they tell you to take the vaccine and you refuse, you’ll be denied alot of things. Italy was sacrificed for this agenda because the pope is a part of this that is why we saw almost the largest cases in Italy it was not coincidence, it was a sacrifice.
“The policy of not having people gather together to reduce and contain the virus is targeted at disrupting the believers from gathering to pray because they know when believers gather together to pray thier plans and agenda will end up in futility we must not keep quiet as the prayers of the saints will stop them.
“All believers must lift up thier voice against the spirit of the new world order and scatter the agenda of the anti christ. They will come up with a new currency to unify the world and solidify control. Purify your body of any sin because they target your body.
“They have tried this and it has worked. By June to August different agenda to unify the world will begin. Kuwait, Malaysia, Egypt, Singapore, hongkong, Thailand, Madagascar, Saudi Arabia, America, needs special prayers.
“If the church can pray using Jeremiah 17:14, Matthew 17:14, the anti christ will not over come the church. If the church rise up in unity, purity and prayers then God will rise up and prove that he is still on the throne.
Embattled Lagos Speaker, Obasa recalls suspended lawmakers amid corruption allegations
The Lagos State House of Assembly led by the embattled speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, on Thursday, 26th March, 2020 lifted the suspension of two lawmakers, Moshood Oshun and Raheem Kazeem, THE WITNESS learnt.
Hon. Obasa, made the announcement at the start of plenary activities on the floor of the House.
According to Obasa, the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, called a meeting earlier in the week to intervene in the matter.
The Speaker said at the meeting, it was agreed that the House should reinstate the suspended lawmakers.
Recall that aside the suspension of the two members, two other principal officers, Olumuyiwa Jimoh and Rotimi Abiru, who were the former Deputy Majority Leader and the Chief Whip, respectively, were relieved of their offices.
Recall also that the sanctions was slammed against them by their colleagues on Monday, 9 March, 2020.
Hon. Obasa has been battling allegations of fraud for weeks now.
Recall, THE WITNESS reported that a non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), recently accused the Lagos Assembly speaker of being reckless with funds meant for development.
In a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), and signed by its executive director, Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak, the group called on the anti-graft agency to investigate and prosecute Hon. Obasa for “gross financial misconduct and abuse of office allegedly perpetrated by the speaker so as to avert a further bleeding of the public treasury under his care and restore sanity in the functioning of the state’s legislative establishment.”
Specifically, HURMA urged the anti-graft agency to probe Hon. Obasa’s alleged financial recklessness and cornering of public funds through illegitimate means; and the alleged corruption and compromise of laid down procedures and rules deliberately foisted on the workforce of the assembly.
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