On the 23rd of November, The Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Ifechukwu Onyema, was charged with 27 counts of money laundering by one U.S. Authorities, with accusations of Onyema moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of an airplane.
The US court had since then issued a warrant to arrest Onyema, and authorised US marshals service to bring him into custody. In view of the above, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has seized his passports and restricted his movement.
According to The Cable, EFCC was said to have invited the airline boss on his involvement in the alleged scam. A source was quoted saying:
Following his interaction with our detectives, it became imperative to restrict his movement to the country because we will need him from time to time. We have seized his passports for an unfettered comprehensive investigation. And so far, he has cooperated with our team.
During our interaction, he maintained his innocence. We have, however, made progress in our preliminary investigation. The extradition process is within the purview of the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. You should not forget that the EFCC has to investigate, establish prima facie case and arraigning the suspects in court before any extradition application can be initiated.
The US government knows what to do as far as the invocation of the MLAT is concerned. We are only fulfilling our own part of the collaboration with the relevant US agencies.