The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has seized the passport of Allen Onyema, chief executive officer of Air Peace, over alleged bank fraud and money laundering in the US.
The Nation reports that Onyema’s passports will be in custody of the anti-graft commission as investigations continue and his movements, temporarily restricted.
In November, US authorities had said Onyema moved more than $20 million from Nigeria through US bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of aeroplanes.
Onyema was indicted alongside Ejiroghene Eghagha, the airline’s chief of administration and finance, who is said to have committed aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.
A US court was also reported to have issued a warrant to arrest Onyema and authorised US marshals service to bring him into custody.
The commission was said to have invited the airline boss on his involvement in the alleged scam.
“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,” the newspaper quoted a source in the commission have said.
“We have seized his passports for an 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.
“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.”