Operations at Air Peace, one of the country’s largest domestic airlines, have continued unperturbed despite money laundering charges levelled against Allen Onyeama, its chief executive officer.
In a statement issued on Friday by the northern district of Georgia’s attorney’s office, Onyeama had 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 aeroplanes”.
“Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud,” US Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak had said.
The Nigerian businessman has since denied the allegation, saying he is ready to clear his name
Checks by TheCable on Tuesday showed that the airline maintained its regular activities, separating its CEO’s travails from the business.
Apart from flight delays, a common phenomenon in Nigeria’s aviation industry, Air Peace continued operations and some flights on some of its popular routes, including Lagos to Abuja, were sold out.
“The incident has not affected their operations although people are careful not to mention it,” a staff at the domestic airport told TheCable.
On Tuesday, a lawyer filed a suit at the federal high court in Abuja to stop Onyeama’s extradition the US.
In 2014, some ex-militants had alleged that Onyeama set up the airline using funds earmarked for the Federal government’s amnesty programme.