The five governors of South East have thrown their weight behind the embattled Air Peace boss, Mr. Allen Onyema, over the alleged money laundry accusation and pleaded with President Buhari to support and protect him to sort the matter out peaceful so that his business would not suffer.
Onyema was accused by the United States authorities for allegedly laundering over $20 million from Nigeria through United States’ bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents for the purchase of airplanes.
In a statement signed by Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Willie Obiano of Anambra, Emeka Ihedioha of Imo, and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, the South East Goverors’ Forum frowned at insinuations that some government officials are against the Air Peace boss, and as such, want to pull him down, stating that such statement only breeds hatred and disunity.
The forum pointed out that even Onyema had on different occasions commended President Buhari for assisting him to get up to five international licences.
“We have read a lot of comments by different individuals and interest groups on the matter and want to point out that the insinuations that some Nigerians or government officials are against Onyema and want to pull him down by all means is a ploy to instigate hatred against him.
“He has remained in Aviation industry which is highly challenging in our country when many people could not cope.
“Onyema is at peace with the Federal Government and has on various occasions commended President Buhari for assisting him to get up to five international licences. Many officials of Buhari’s administration had stood for him many times in promoting and encouraging Air Peace operations in and outside Nigeria.
“Air Peace is a business and most businesses usually have one issue or the other to settle and this one is not an exception. We plead with Buhari to please continue to give Onyema all the necessary support and protection to enable him sort out this matter peacefully.
“Onyema has highly assisted the aviation industry in Nigeria and we must all stand to defend this business. The governors of the South East will do everything within the law to support Onyema overcome this issue so as to continue to offer more excellent services to Nigeria.
“We request the US Ambassador to Nigeria to please step into the matter so as to peacefully resolve the issue without destroying Onyema’s reputation.
‘We also urge Onyema to engage experienced and external financial managers to work with the US government in resolving and rectifying his business tax matter if any, according the statement.