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US court issues arrest warrant for Onyema

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A United States court has issued a warrant of arrest against Air Peace boss Allen Onyema

The United States Department of Justice said on Friday that Onyema has been for alleged bank fraud and money laundering. Another person – Ejiroghene Eghagha, who is Air Peace’s international airline’s Chief of Administration and Finance – was also accused of aggravated identity theft.

Lawyers to both Air Peace chiefs said they were innocent of the allegations. A copy of the arrest warrant published by Premium Times showed that the warrant was issued on November 20.

Nigeria and the US have extradition agreement but it is not clear if the US has requested for Onyema to be extradited. Their lawyers said in a statement on Saturday morning that both Onyema and Eghagha were willing to prove their innocence in court.

Download the full indictment here.

The US authorities said it has also seized funds in, at least, three bank accounts it said were traced to both Air Peace chiefs.

The funds listed in the indictment included: ” $4,017,852.51 in funds seized from JP Morgan Chase Bank account number XXXXXXXXXXX5512 held in the name of Springfield Aviation Company, LLC; $4,593,842.05 in funds held in Bank of Montreal Canada account number XXXXXXX7523 held in the name of Springfield Aviation Inc. and $5,634,842.04 in funds held in Bank of Montreal Canada account number XXXXXXX7515 held in the name of Bluestream Aero Services, Inc.”

The funds will be forfeited to the United States if “upon conviction of one or more of the offenses alleged” counts one to thirty-six.

Parts of the indictment also states: If any of the above-described forfeitable property, as a result of any act or omission of the Defendants:
a. cannot be located upon the exercise of due diligence; b. has been transferred or sold to, or deposited with, a third party;
c. has been placed beyond the jurisdiction of the Court;
d. has been substantially diminished in value; or
e. has been commingled with other property which cannot be divided without difficulty; it is the intent of the United States, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(p), as incorporated by Title 18, United States Code, Section 982(b) and Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461(c), to seek forfeiture of any other property of said defendants up to the value of forfeitable property described above.

 


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