By Nwafor Sunday
On the 23rd of November, 2019, Allen Ifechukwu Athan Onyema, the Chairman of Air Peace was charged with 27 counts of money laundering by one U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.
Mr. Byung said that Onyema moved more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of 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, Sunday, went tough on him by seizing his passports and restricting his movement.
A source according to The Nation disclosed this.
His words, “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 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”.
On the likelihood of extraditing Onyema to the US, the source added: “This depends on the MLAT between Nigeria and the US. For now, we are only investigating.
“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.”