By David O Royal
A Human Right Activist, Segun Awosanya, also known as Segalink in a series of tweets on Saturday reacted to the indictment of the chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema by the United States Department of Justice over money laundering and bank fraud.
Reacting to this, SEGA noted that no one will die if we wait to hear out his side of the story.
He further urged Nigerians not to demonize anyone or use the same mouth they deployed to praise someone they called hero, (for rescuing Nigerians running away from Xenophobia in South Africa) a fraud.
Recall that Vanguard had earlier reported that Mr Onyema and Ejiroghene Eghagha, Air Peace’s head of finance and administration, were recently indicted for alleged money laundering and bank fraud in the United States.
However, both suspects strongly denied the allegations and said they looked forward to proving their innocence in court.
Read SEGA’S full tweets:
Anyone who’s ever owned or ran a business in Nigeria knows how hard things get in our clime. There are hurdles and booby traps where they ought not to be and resistance from circles that normally ought to guarantee the ease of doing business. Govt agencies are competitors.
A country where most people in regulatory positions have links to ruthless folks whose purpose in life is to cut corners & grease the palms of gatekeepers. With the obstacles deliberately positioned to frustrate businesses, to obtain FX, the black market may be your only hope.
Just before the news of indictment make you conclude on your fellow countryman, think for a bit and realize that what we deem normal even in government circles in Nigeria are aberrations abroad. The operations of our bankers are fraudulent activities abroad if vetted.
We receive cases daily. There are times when seeking FX that your banks will help you source from their BDC, who connects you with someone willing to trade. These are sources you may not be able to verify but you trust your account officers & bank. Time is also not your friend.
Critical Thinking may be difficult and time consuming thus the need to chart territories already conquered. This is why we trust allies and influencers we consider experts in such fields. This is why we hire our weaknesses. This is why we seek counsel to win time.
If most of the daily transactions in the FX market to foreign banks are traced, everyone involved would most definitely be indicted. The banking officers filling those documents to beat time & make the wishes of parties come through are not perfect. Most are even careless.
CEOs are not bankers. They are held accountable by the way for the transactions are in their names as beneficiaries. Even those ones that may have been deemed sealed and concluded for years. Ask your Oil and Gas mogul & industrialists engaging in import logistics.
Anyone thus indicted in my opinion on these grounds should present documentation to the embassies and lawyer up. Show me any thriving business in Nigeria with foreign transaction and you will find them all guilty of unsung these same route to make things happen.
Over 70% of Capital intensive transactions in Nigeria remain in the informal sector. One that is strengthened by the formal sector because of the fringe benefits. Whether you are talking real estate, FX or trade. Politicians are benefitting immensely from these gaps.
The question basically should be: Who will be left standing if the probe is extended? At this rate the CBN will be indicted should it be found that funds were remitted via them. This will expose the chain of such transactions that have become a normative culture.
This is not the time to demonize anyone or use the same mouth you deployed to praise someone you called hero, (for rescuing NIGERIANs running away from Xenophobia in South Africa) a fraud. No one will die if we wait to hear out his side of the story. We will learn from this.