Allen Onyema, the Chairman and CEO of Air Peace, has denied US fraud allegations against him.
Onyeama 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 US State Department of Justice (DOJ), in a statement posted on its website on Friday, (https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr/ceo-nigerian-airline-indicted-bank-fraud-and-money-laundering), said Air Peace Chief of Administration and Finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, has also been charged with bank fraud and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.
However, in his reaction, Onyeama said all the money transferred to the US went through CBN, adding that the allegations were false and were in no way in line with his character as a person and as a business man
According to him, he has never conducted business with any illegality, stressing that his only aim had been to build Nigeria and improve wellbeing.
He added that his lawyers were on the allegations and he was ready to defend himself in any US court to prove his innocence.
Speaking to This Day, he said: “As the press statement clearly stated, these are indictment that only contains charges. I am innocent of all charges and the US government will find no dirt on me because I have never conducted business with any illegalities.
“Be rest assured that I also have my lawyers on this and these mere allegations will be refuted. I never laundered money in my life, neither have I committed bank fraud anywhere in the world.
“Every Kobo I transferred to the US for aircraft purchase went through the Central Bank of Nigeria LC regime and all were used for the same purpose.
“The American companies that received the funds are still in business. I never took a penny from any US bank or Nigerian bank. I am willing to defend my innocence in the US courts.”
The fraud reports indicated that the US Attorney’s office in Georgia had alleged that the Chairman, CEO, and founder of Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, has been involved with bank fraud and money laundering for moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme allegedly involving false documents based on the purchase.