A United States court has released the details of the transactions of the Chairman, Air Peace Limited, Allen Onyema over alleged money laundering and bank fraud in the US, as it issued a warrant of arrest against him.
The warrant, which was signed by an American magistrate of US District Court of Northern District of Georgia, Justin Anand on November 19, authorised U.S. Marshals Service to take Onyema into custody.
What it implies: The development means Onyema may be arrested anywhere in Nigeria or the US. The reason is that the US and Nigeria have a mutual legal assistance policy that allows both countries to extradite suspects facing criminal charges. Several Nigerians have been sent to the U.S. to stand trial for alleged fraud.
Case study: In August, one Temitayo Fatumbi was extradited from Nigeria and sentenced to 46 months for his role in an $8.3 million Medicare fraud scheme and related money laundering.
Fatumbi was found guilty for his role in Durable Medical Equipment (DME), which was fraudulently billed to Medicare for DME but was not medically necessary.
There are chances that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will wade in considering previous cases it had arrested people wanted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation for fraud or other criminal allegations.
Onyema’s case comes as U.S. authorities are recording back-to-back successes in their clampdown on Nigerians suspected of fraudulent activities there.
Nairametrics could not confirm if US authorities have sought extradition of Onyema as part of efforts to execute a warrant of arrest issued against him.
What Nigeria/US extradition says …
The Nigeria/US treaty stated that “contracting Parties engage to deliver up to each other, under certain circumstances and conditions stated in the present Treaty, and those persons who, being accused or convicted of any of the crimes or offenses enumerated in Article 3, committed within the jurisdiction of the one Party, shall be found within the territory of the other Party.”
Article 9 stipulates “the extradition shall take place only if the evidence be found sufficient, according to the laws of the High Contracting Party applied to, either to justify the committal of the prisoner for trial, in case the crime or offense had been committed in the territory of such High Contracting Party,
Details of allegations: According to the Criminal indictment document signed by United States Attorney, Byung Pak, and his assistants, the alleged fraud started around May 2016 and continuing through February 2018, in the Northern District of Georgia.It says:
- Defendants Allen Onyema, Ejiroghene Eghagha, and others willfully have a tacit understanding with each other to commit bank fraud, an offense against the United States
- They knowingly devise and execute and attempt to execute a scheme and artifice to defraud financial institutions the deposits of Wells Fargo Bank and JPMorgan Chase Bank NA
- Between 2010 and 2018, the wired deposits amounting to over $44.9 million transferred from foreign accounts into Onyema’s Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and J.P. Morgan Chase accounts
- Between 2013 and 2014, Onyema used $3 million from multiple foreign bank accounts, including several Nigerian accounts, to purchase airplanes for the Air Peace fleet
- Between 2013 and 2016, accounts associated with his companies mentioned above transferred more than $3.8 million, which was meant to acquire, export, service aircraft, into bank accounts in the United States
- October 2017, Wells Fargo Bank received an export letter of credit request (ILCCOCBG17O2932) from Fidelity Bank in Nigeria on behalf of applicant Air Peace for a transfer of over $3.4 million into WF 8621 held in the name of Springfield Aviation, which is owned by Onyema. The purpose of the letter of credit was purportedly to fund Air Peace’s purchase of Boeing 28561 from Springfield Aviation, an aircraft already owned by Air Peace
- All transactions below are in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957 and Section 2:
Over 20% of N-Power beneficiaries are now business owners – FG
The Minister emphasized the President’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has said that about 109,823 beneficiaries of the N-Power programme now have their own businesses.
This represents about 22% of the 500,000 Nigerians that have benefited from this programme since its inception.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Minister’s Special Assistant on Strategic Communications, Mrs Halima Oyelade on Saturday, July 4, 2020. She said that the beneficiaries of Batch A and B of N-Power have established businesses in their communities.
The Minister in the statement said, “Statistics like this gives me joy and once again, I want to say congratulations; I look forward to hearing amazing testimonies and meeting beneficiaries of this programme who will be doing great things in the future”.
She emphasized President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years by creating opportunities that would improve the productivity of Nigerian youths for entrepreneurship or employment.
Going further the minister said, “Thus, the need to find ways to engage them is of utmost importance. However, the commencement of the enrolment of Batch C was predicated on the need to give more Nigerian youths the opportunity to benefit. This is because, keeping only 500,000 beneficiaries for four years defeats the purpose of Mr President’s vision, hence the need to scale up and was in no way meant to be punitive.”
While acknowledging the beneficiaries’ contributions, Farouq said, ‘’You are our model N-Power beneficiaries. Please avail yourselves of all opportunities provided by government like interest-free loans and leverage on those opportunities while using N-Power as a stepping stone”.
The minister said the ministry is working at resolving some of the challenges facing the programme which include delays in the payment of stipends, beneficiaries not showing up at their places of primary assignments and people accessing the programme while gainfully employed elsewhere.
The minister also assured beneficiaries that outstanding payments would be made and transition plans were ongoing and would be duly communicated to them on their platform.
Some of the beneficiaries of the programme gave good testimonies about the impact of the programme in their lives and all expressed their gratitude to the Federal Government for the opportunity.
Nairametrics has reported the opening of application portal for batch C of the programme with effect from 11.45 pm on June 26, 2020. There have been over 3 million applicants that have shown interest in batch C of the programme in about a week.
Meristem features Nike Okundaye in Campaign titled “The Journey”, highlights the importance for partners
Meristem taps into Okundaye’s creative energy, highlighting the shared story of growth and collaboration.
It has been a long journey for financial services provider, Meristem Nigeria, having started out as a boutique stockbroking firm over 16 years ago and morphing into a capital market conglomerate offering an array of diversified service and product offerings. The tale is similar for the art and culture doyen, Nike Okundaye-Davies whose humble beginning in traditional weaving and dying practice annealed her to the art world and art lovers.
At a graceful age of 70, she has achieved over 102 solo art exhibitions, 36 group art exhibitions, a permanent display of two of her works in the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, a Harvard recognition and many other global acclaims. With four (4) art galleries spread across the country, and the Lagos center being the biggest art gallery in West Africa, she once told a Forbes journalist that her dreams are driven by careful financial planning as she reinvests at least two-thirds of her income in her business and art centers.
Meristem taps into her creative energy in this campaign, highlighting the shared story of growth and collaboration for both institutions, and the need to onboard the right partners to achieve long term financial goals and investment security.
Meristem, a capital market conglomerate and diversified financial services provider offering stockbroking, wealth management, asset management, trustee services and financial advisory. Over the past 16 years, Meristem has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space. The Nigerian stock exchange awarded Meristem as the best digital broker of the year. In 2018 also, Meristem became the first Nigerian asset management firm to attain compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) by the CFA Institute. In 2017, Meristem handled the single largest trade in the history of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Shell considers relocating its headquarters to the UK
Royal Dutch Shell has consistently pushed for the Dutch Government to stop taxes on dividends.
Oil and gas giant, the Royal Dutch Shell, is considering moving its corporate headquarters from The Netherlands to Britain. This could be a move against the implementation of dividend tax in The Netherlands.
The move was disclosed by the oil company’s Chief Executive Officer, Ben Van Beurden, during an interview with a Dutch newspaper on Saturday, July 4, 2020. According to him, the oil giant is not ruling out relocating its headquarters from the Netherlands to Britain. He said:
“You always need to keep thinking. Nothing is permanent and of course we will look at the business climate. But moving your headquarters is not a trivial measure. You cannot think too lightly about that.”
Further confirming the Chief Executive Officer’s comment, a Shell spokesman told Reuters that the oil giant is looking at ways to simplify its dual structure, as it had been doing for many years.
Royal Dutch Shell has consistently pushed for the Dutch Government to stop the tax on dividend paid to shareholders, as this makes financing dividend, share buy-backs and acquisition a lot more difficult.
An earlier attempt by the Dutch Government to stop the dividend tax as an incentive to convince Unilever to unify its dual structure in Rotterdam, was met with an outcry by the public, who see that as a gift to rich foreigners.
It can be recalled that Shell had announced a few days ago that it might likely write down between $15 billion-$22 billion in post impairment charges for the second quarter of 2020. The impairment, which is its largest since the merger with Shell Transport and Trading Company Ltd in 2005, shows the huge adverse impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the oil giant’s businesses.
Also, in a move that shocked investors, Shell for the first time since the Second World War, cut down the dividend that it paid to its shareholders by two-thirds due to the negative impact of the pandemic. The decision came as a surprise to many including shareholders of the oil company which is by far the biggest payer of dividend in the FTSE 100.