Things are falling apart for Allen Onyeama and Air Peace, the US Department of Justice have indicted him for money laundering while Nigeria’s EFCC has launched an investigation into the books of one of Nigeria’s leading Airline Company.
In a game of names and conspiracies, new facts have emerged which point to the reality that the Jonathans, Mr. Timi Alaibe, former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commision and Kingsley Kuku, former Chairman of The Presidential Amnesty Program to former President Jonathan are the real owners of Nigerian Airline, Airpeace Nigeria LTD.
WHERE THE MONEY CAME FROM
Kingsley Kuku during his time as Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Program converted his office as a fund raising scheme, and indeed the funds were raised. Several billions of unaccounted tax payers money were stolen from the Amnesty program, and when Kingsley Kuku’s time as Chairman was over, a clearly orchestrated arson was committed at the accounts records office of the Presidential Amnesty Office to erase all trace of theft and fraud, a well thought out plan, a well executed plan. But the eyes of Nigeria’s anti graft commissions were already on him, and he fled to the U.S. before he could answer to EFCC’s questions about a N6.2bn contract, he has been on exile since 2015.
THE FRONT – ALLEN ONYEAMA.
Allen Onyema, the publicly known owner of Air Peace was a legal practitioner based in Lagos until 2013 when Air Peace was inaugurated. He was not a business man who had build successful empires over time, he had no digital or analogue record of successful business ventures. In 2013, he had successfully obtained the permits to set up what would eventually be Nigeria’s biggest airline company from nothing.
The US Department of Justice a few weeks ago indicted Mr Onyeama for fraud and money laundering, apparently more people have began to ask the question “Where did Mr Allen get the funds to set up Air Peace from?”
Private investigations have revealed that Air Peace and “Mama Peace”, the nickname of Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan are no different from rain and water.
It has been gathered that Patience Goodluck Jonathan popular known as ‘Mama Peace’ who personally recommended the name ‘Air Peace Nigeria’. Patience Jonathan who had wanted her face to be behind the then newly founded airline was advised against it as it would have far reaching consequences on political optics seeing as Goodluck Jonathan made no attempt to revive the nation’s national Carrier.
Investigations confirmed that Mr. Timi Alaibe and Mr Kuku used Alex Onyema’s firm to open different NGOs and companies that were later used to transfer money in millions of dollars to US accounts that Mr. Allen Onyeama used to purchase the Airpeace Nigeria LTD fleet – This is why the U.S got involved.
In 2009, Mr. Timi Alaibe who had wanted to contest for Bayelsa governorship election after his stint as Senior Special Adviser on Amnesty to the president, approached Patience Jonathan the then First lady to help persuade President Jonathan to appoint his progeny Kingsley Kuku who served as his Personal Assisatnt while in NDDC to be Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Program in an attempt to cover his tracks.
Patience Jonathan agreed on the condition that her office will be constantly serviced by the Amnesty Office. Timi Alaibe agreed and a new alliance was forged between the duo. An alliance that would consequently give birth to Air Peace Airlines LTD.
FOLLOWING THE MONEY
A few months ago, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a financial audit of the Presidential Amnesty Program and the NDDC.
Consequently, the The United States Department of Justice charged Allen Ifechukwu Athan Onyema, the Chairman, CEO, and founder of Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, 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,” according to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
Air Peace’s Chief of Administration and Finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, was also being charged with bank fraud and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.
According to the statement issued by the Department Office Justice, “Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud.” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak was quoted in the statement as saying; “We will diligently protect the integrity of our banking system from being corrupted by criminals, even when they disguise themselves in a cloak of international business.”
Robert J. Murphy , Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division who commented on the indictment 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. DEA would like to thank the many law enforcement partners and the subsequent prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office who aided in making this investigation a success.”
“Onyema setup various innocent sounding multi-million dollar asset purchases which were nothing more than alleged fronts for his scam,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in Georgia and Alabama.
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the indictment, and other information presented in court: “Onyema, a Nigerian citizen and businessman, is the founder and Chairman of several organizations that purport to promote peace across Nigeria, including the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Center for Non-Violence and Peace Development, and All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited.
“Beginning in 2010, Onyema began 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.”
Onyema founded Air Peace in 2013.
According to the statement, “in years following the founding of Air Peace, he traveled to the United States and purchased multiple airplanes for the airline. However, 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.”
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.
Additionally, Onyema was charged with 27 counts of money laundering, and Eghagha was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft.
You would recall that in 2014, Diepreye Dikibo, spokesman of the ex-Militant Leaders Forum in the Niger Delta, alleged that Onyema and Kingsley Kuku, former adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, used funds meant for the amnesty programme to float Air Peace.
Kuku was the coordinator of the project while Onyema was a consultant.
In a statement, Dikibo alleged that Onyema’s Foundation for Ethnic Harmony was one of the biggest beneficiaries of contracts from presidential amnesty programme.
Read an excerpt of the statement from the spokesman of the ex-militant leaders as published on www.thecable.ng 24th November 2019.
Initially, there were rumors that Air Peace, a new Airline whose aircraft have recently been cited at Lagos Airports belong to the First Lady Patience Faka Jonathan. That is all not true. We believe at this moment, that those who churned out the story that the Airlines belonged to the First Lady did so deliberately to hide the truth and to mislead the people.
The truth did not take too long to come out. Business concerns owned by Allen Onyema, a Lagos based businessman, colleague and close confidant of the Special adviser to the President on Niger Delta & Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme Kingsley Kuku have not been confirmed as responsible for the Airlines and more to that, Allen Onyema has now publicly confirmed that he is the Chairman of the Air Peace Airlines.
Allen Onyeama’s business outfit handled the demobilization and orientation of former Niger Delta militants which cost billions of Naira to run. Allen Onyema has also been responsible for high valued training contracts (running into billions) in the areas of welding training as well as aviation training for the Presidential Amnesty Programme in countries such as South Africa, The United States and Dubai.
Kingsley Kuku, Allen Onyema with House of Reps Committee Members on the Niger Delta visiting Proclad Academy, Dubai (Where Allen Onyema’s business outfit ICNPD) is training Niger Delta youths in Welding for millions of dollars.
The appointment of Kingsley Kuku as SA, Niger Delta & Chairman of the Amnesty Programme in January 2011, was a huge blessing for Allen Onyema as it gave him automatic access to a monster chunk of the more than sixty billion naira allocated to the amnesty programme yearly.
Two of Allen Onyeama’s NGOs which also double as business outfits are known to be the biggest beneficiary of large value Presidential Amnesty Contracts and we can confirm that none of these outfits has any ties to the First Lady Patience Jonathan.
They include the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN) and the International Center for Non-violence & Peace Development (ICNPD).
All the contracts awarded to Allen Onyema and his business run into millions of dollars and are all grossly inflated and over valued in a manner designed to short change the Amnesty Programme and steal the billions of naira yearly allocated to the manage the amnesty program in the Niger Delta.
End of excerpt.
Since her husband, Ex-president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, was voted out of power in 2015, Patience Jonathan has been dragged to court at least four times by the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC), with the target of reclaiming both money and properties allegedly acquired with “proceeds of unlawful activities.”