Elo Edremoda, Warri
A rights group, the Pan African Movement for Peace, Human Rights and Social Justice (PAMPHRSJ), has urged the federal government to “protect” the embattled Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, on the allegations of bank fraud and money laundering by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
The group also condemned individuals and groups who have by their words and actions, passed a “guilty verdict” on the Nigerian businessman.
In a press conference held Friday, in Warri, Delta state, convener of the movement, Rex Anighoro, further frowned on the body language of the presidency regarding the matter, following its failure to refute comments on social media, by one of its aide.
Positing that it was with “rude shock” it learnt of the fraud indictment, the PAMPHRSJ assured that millions of youths across the African continent are set to embark on a solidarity march to show their stand with the airline CEO.
Speaking alongside its co-convener, Amb. Sixtus Obinna, Anighoro opined that Onyema “does not have any political ambition”, hence those who feel threatened by his rising profile, especially after his evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa in the wake of the xenophobic attacks, should have no cause for alarm.
Mr. Onyema who is also the founder of Foundation of Ethnic Harmony of Nigeria (FEHN), is being accused of moving more than $20 million from Nigeria, through US bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.
Noting that an arrest warrant has already been issued against the Air Peace boss to face the charges in the USA, the group urged him to go on to “clear his name and prove his innocence. We can vouch that Barrister Allen Onyema has no avarice to this call to integrity.
“The mischievous castigation and casting of aspersions on Barrister Allen Onyema by a presidential aide strengthens the suspicion in many quarters that the presidency is deliberately working with his business competitors which includes her Western collaborators to set him up, pull him down and frustrate his business efforts.
“We demand that President Muhammadu Buhari and the presidency immediately rise up and do all that is necessary through diplomatic initiatives to protect and defend Barrister Allen Onyeama, our thriving entrepreneurial brand from this needless witch-hunting.
“The Nigerian government must never allow Barrister Allen Onyema to be embarrassed and ridiculed like a common criminal before the global community nor made to feel like a nationless homeless man despite his outstanding contributions to making Nigeria and Africa a global pride.
“We are therefore resolved to mobilize millions of Nigerian and African youths to march the streets of Africa in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, South Africa amongst other places in solidarity and stand with him. Barrister Allen Onyema is a star of the first magnitude and we shall not allow anyone and any government to pull him down,” the group stressed.