Ohanaeze, Nzuko Umunna bemoan Air Peace boss’s fate
Urges Buhari to support him
Ohanaeze Ndigbo is worried over what it termed “sudden unfolding travails” of the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema.
The airline boss is facing allegations of fraud and money laundering, which he has denied.
In a statement in Enugu signed by the President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation said it was aware of the huge investment Onyema had made in the aviation sector, which repositioned it for efficiency, and at the same time provided employment for Nigerians.
“We are also aware of his unparalleled magnanimity that helped save the lives of many Nigerians at the height of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
“We are closely monitoring the event (allegations) to see how it will pan out. We wish him well in his ordeal and hope that he will get justice at the end of the day,” Ohanaeze said.
Meanwhile, Nzuko Umunna has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that Onyema was given adequate support to secure his rights in his quest to clear his name against the charges by the United States Department of Justice (USDJ).
Reacting to the indictment, then influential body of professionals of Igbo extraction warned, “The usual pattern of throwing our citizens under the bus whenever they are faced with charges in foreign jurisdictions must be reversed starting with this case.
“For once, the Federal Government should activate its much-touted citizen diplomacy, a model that has been elevated to a fine art by the United States itself,” the pan-Igbo group stated.
It expressed shock and deep concern on “the frenzy with which anti-graft agencies have already set up a ‘special panel’ that has swung into action even on a weekend to fish for evidence to convict a Nigerian citizen.
“With hindsight, the U.S. is not accustomed to such frenzy or even cooperation when their citizens are at the receiving end of these indictments in foreign jurisdictions. It also tends to give vent to the conspiracy theory making the rounds that this is more of a grand design to liquidate another thriving Igbo business mogul than any attempt at combating alleged fraud.
“A similar fate was suffered by Messrs Cletus Ibeto, Ifeanyi Ubah, Willie Anumudu and Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson fame, to name a few. This is highly unacceptable in a nascent democracy with a very fragile economy,” coordinator of the group, Joseph Odumuko, and secretary, Pascal Mbanefo, stated.
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