The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has waded into the $44.9 million wire fraud and money laundering case against Air Peace Chief Executive Allen Ifechukwu Athan Onyema hours after his indictment in the United States (US).
The EFCC, it was learnt, on Saturday raised what sources referred to as a ”special panel” to investigate the matter shortly after receiving the charges against Onyema.
Onyema was indicted along with his finance officer, Ejiroghene Eghagha, by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
They were accused of “moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through some United States banks in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.”
Eghagha, who is the international airline’s Chief of Administration and Finance, was also accused of bank fraud and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.
The EFCC is also investigating two Nigerian banks for allegedly facilitating the transfer of the money to the US and processing letters of credit to buy planes for Air Peace.
The probe, The Nation gathered, would cover the activities and inflows into the accounts of four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) /non-profit groups sponsored by Onyema.
They are Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Centre for Non-Violence and Peace Development, All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited and Every Child Limited.
Onyema has since denied the allegations against him and stated his readiness to travel to the US to defend himself.
– The Nation
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