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Alleged $44.9m Fraud: EFCC Interrogates Air Peace CEO, Allen Onyema

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Air Peace

Allen Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace has been interogated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Onyema was investigated over an alleged $44.9 million wire deals.

The Nation reports that Onyema was quizzed on Wednesday and released on administrative bail.

It quoted a source who said a former special adviser/coordinator of the Amnesty Programme Office, who was not named, has been placed on watch list.

Following Onyema’s interrogation, the EFCC has now placed his activities under surveillance.

The source said Onyema’s questioning was part of the agency’s collaboration with the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

It is not known if US authorities have sought Onyema’s extradition, but a US court has issued a warrant of arrest for him.

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The US justice department indicted Onyema, 56, last Friday alongside the airline’s chief of administration and finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha.

It is charging them with bank fraud and money laundering for allegedly moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through US bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.

Court documents show that bank accounts in the US and Canada reportedly belonging to Air Peace have been frozen as part of the investigation.

The documents showed that $4,017,852.51 was seized from JP Morgan Chase Bank account number ending in 5512 held in the name of Springfield Aviation Company, LLC.

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Another $4,593,842.05 held in Bank of Montreal with account number ending 7523 in the name of Springfield Aviation Inc. was also seized.

The US government also traced and seized $5,634,842.04 held in Bank of Montreal with account number ending in 515 in the name of Bluestream Aero Services, Inc

The EFCC source said some Nigerian banks might be implicated in the process.

“We cannot rule out some of the money in some accounts in Nigeria. And our investigation may reveal the identities of other accomplices. Also, two Nigerian banks have been mentioned in the wire deals, especially transactions on purchase of aircraft,” the source said.

 

 

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DSS React To Sowore’s Rearrest Drama

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The Department of State Security, (DSS), has reacted to the criticisms that it has been recieving following the drama that greeted the rearrest of Omoyele Sowore in court.

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Reacting to the criticism, the DSS said its officers did not arrest the convener of the #RevolutionNow movement in court, adding that the journalist’s supporters were only acting an “orchestrated drama”.

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A statement signed by Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesperson said there were none of its officers involved in the incidents recorded in the courtroom.

See the full statement below:

(more…)

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Atiku Frowns At DSS Re-arrest Of Sowore

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Re-arrest

 

Erstwhile Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has frowned at the manner with which the DSS re-arrested Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters.

Sowore was re-arrested on Friday having been released from a DSS detention facility hours earlier.

Reacting to the arrest of the convener of the Revolution Now Protest, Atiku said that he was angered in his spirit as he watched the commotion that unfolded when the DSS attempted to re-arrest Sowore and Bakare in the courtroom.

In a statement, Atiku described the treatment of the presiding judge, Justice Ojukwu as a “rape on the sanctity of the court,” calling on Nigerians not to keep mute until justice is achieved.

“Today, I am in extreme anguish of spirit having watched the unfortunate drama that played itself out at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, in which agents of the state caused a commotion in court in order to frustrate a judgment of a court of competent authority.

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“Never in the history of Nigerian democracy has a judge been treated in such a disdainful and brazen attack on not just her person and office, but on the entire judiciary. This is unacceptable. It is a rape on the sanctity of the court.

“Nigeria is not a dictatorship. We are a democracy, no matter how inconvenient this fact is to the powers that have forced themselves on us.

“I call for an immediate inquiry to be set up to identify those responsible for the maltreatment meted out to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and the desecration of her court, and indeed the Nigerian judiciary. They must be sanctioned to the highest extent permissible by our laws.

“I further call for all law enforcement agencies in Nigeria to immediately respect not just the court order made by Justice Ojukwu, but the order of any court in Nigeria, on any detainee, be it Omoyele Sowore, Sambo Dasuki or Ibrahim Zakzaky, among others.

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“We cannot have a situation where our government is quick to obey foreign court orders and even quicker to disobey domestic court orders. This is symptomatic of a mindset that is servile to foreign powers and brutal to Nigerians.

“Without the rule of law, there can be no rule at all. Power in Nigeria still flows from the people, not from the barrel of a gun. I call on all men and women of goodwill not to keep quiet or sit on the fence at times like this.

“To keep Nigeria democracy is the paramount duty of all concerned stakeholders. Please speak up against this tyranny and side with the Nigerian people,” Atiku wrote.

 

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DSS Rearrest Omoyele Sowore After Standoff

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Barely 18 hours after being released by the Department of State Service (DSS), Omoyele Sowore has been rearrested.

The publisher of Sahara Reporters was arrested in court on Friday after minutes of standoff between him and men of the DSS.

DSS allegedly tries rearresting Omoyele Sowore in court room today.. (photos)

Sahara Reporters reported that  DSS operatives initially refused Sowore and his lawyers exit from the court room, laying siege on the court.

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According to reports, after a standoff resulting from trying to rearrest Sowore, his lawyer, Femi Falana opted to drive the activist to the office of the DSS.

In the process of driving Sowore to the office of the DSS, Falana had a brief  discussion with the lawyer of the secret police Hassan Liman, however the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) was not allowed out of the court premises by armed security operatives who blocked the court gate, attempting to rearrest Sowore again.

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Falana however suceeded in driving out of the court with security operatives in pursuit.

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