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EFCC Quizzes Allen Onyema Over $44.9 Million Wire Deals



AS part of the ongoing probe of alleged $44.9 million wire deals, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has interrogated the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Ifechukwu Onyema.

Also, there were strong indications last night that the EFCC may watch-list a former Special Adviser/Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme Office.

It was learnt that the ex-Special Adviser might be placed on INTERPOL red alert list.

Investigation revealed that Onyema, who was quizzed on Wednesday, has been placed on administrative bail.

It was, however, learnt that his activities are under the anti-graft commission’s surveillance.

A reliable source said the invitation of Onyema was part of the ongoing collaboration with the FBI and other security networks working on the alleged $44.9 million wire deals in which Onyema, his Finance Officer Ejiroghene Eghagha and two banks were implicated.

The source said: “Our team of detectives on Wednesday interacted with Onyema in our Lagos office on the wire deals, especially on issues involving money laundering.

“The questioning was part of our ongoing collaboration with the FBI and other agencies in line with the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between Nigeria and the United States.

“We decided to release Onyema on administrative bail in deference to his constitutional right of innocence until proven guilty.

“But Onyema is on surveillance by the EFCC pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.”

Asked why the EFCC opted to interrogate Onyema after charges have been preferred against him and Ejiroghene Eghagha in the United States, the source added: “There are vital Nigerian components of the indictment and demands of the US Government.

“For instance, the US is seeking the forfeiture of over $13 million left in some accounts linked with the suspect in the United States and Canada. The funds are $4,017,852.51 in JP Morgan Chase Bank in the US and $4,593,842.05 and $5,634,842.04 in the Bank of Montreal, Canada.

“We cannot rule out some of the money in some accounts in Nigeria. And our investigation may reveal the identities of other accomplices. Also, two Nigerian banks have been mentioned in the wire deals, especially transactions on purchase of aircraft.

“If there are assets to be seized in Nigeria, we have to collaborate with the US Government on the forfeiture process.”

As at press time, it was learnt that the EFCC was on the trail of a former Special Adviser/ Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme Office.

Another source said: “The suspect has gone underground. We may have no choice but to watch-list the ex-Special Adviser. We will eventually place him on INTERPOL red alert.

“Preliminary findings revealed a nexus between Amnesty Office and the activities of Onyema’s firms/groups/ NGOs as applicable.

“These groups include the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Centre for Non-Violence and Peace Development, All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited and Every Child Limited.

“Our detectives discovered that the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN) handled the training and transformation of some former Niger Delta militants for both the Amnesty Programme Office and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).”

Responding to a question, the source said: “We are probing allegation of money laundering which led to the buying of exotic vehicles by Onyema.

Read Also: US court issues warrant against Onyema
“He blew about N170,100,000 ( $472,500) on three vehicles with cash transferred into his BOA 8086 account from Nigerian and other foreign bank accounts. We want him to explain the sources of the cash.”

According to the unsealed indictment, Onyema bought the luxury vehicles as follows: armoured Lexus LX570 ($204,000); Rolls Royce ($180,000); and Mercedez Benz($88,500).

The indictment reads in part: “Between April 2010 and January 2016, Onyema transferred millions of dollars into his BOA 8086 account from Nigerian and other foreign bank accounts, including hundreds of thousands of dollars transferred directly from accounts for Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Center for Non-Violence and Peace Development, All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited, and Every Child Limited.

“Onyema used the funds in his BOA 8086 account to pay for personal living expenses, among other purchases. For example, Onyema purchased an armored Lexus LX570 ($204,000.00), using, in part, funds from BOA 8086.

“In or about January 2016, Bank of America closed BOA 8086 and issued a cashier’s cheque in the amount of $4,000,396.43 made payable to Onyema and his wife.

“On or about March 1, 2016, Onyema opened a checking account ending in 3417 (“WF 3417”) and a savings account ending in 8020 (“WF 8020”) at a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Atlanta, Georgia. Both WF 3417 and WF 8020 were opened in the name of Allen I. Onyema, and Onyema was the sole authorised signatory on both accounts.

“Between on or about March 2, 2016, and May 10, 2016, Wells 8020 received numerous wire transfers totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his bank accounts domiciled in Nigeria, including but not limited to the bank account for All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited and Foundation for Ethnic Harmony.

“From March through May 2016, Onyema made numerous cash withdrawals from WF 8020 totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. WF 3417 was used to pay for personal expenses, including purchases at Atlanta, Georgia locations of Prada, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Louis Vuitton, the Apple Store, and various airlines.

“In March 2016, Onyema also used WF 8020 to purchase luxury cars, including a Roll Royce for $180,000 and a Mercedes for $88,500, among others.

“On or about November 14, 2017, Onyema opened a business savings account ending in 2151 (JPMC 2151) at a JP Morgan Chase Bank branch in Atlanta, Georgia. Both JPMC 5512 and JPMC 2151 were opened in the same name of Springfield Aviation Company, LLC, and Onyema was the sole authorized signatory on both accounts.

“In total, from 2010 through 12018, wire deposits amounting to over $44.9 million transferred from foreign accounts into Onyema’s Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan Chase accounts.”

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Woman ‘cut up and remains thrown in bins by convicted drug dealer she met online’



A woman was allegedly chopped into pieces and her remains dumped in different bins by a convicted drug dealer she met online.

Jorge Ignacio Palma, 37, is understood to have made the horrifying confession after giving himself up to detectives investigating the disappearance of Marta Calvo Buron.

Martha, 25, vanished on November 7 after arranging online to meet Palma at his rented home near the east coast Spanish city of Valencia.

Palma was thought to have fled to Italy before it was reported yesterday he had been in hiding.

He had already been linked to a previous police investigation in April after detectives discovered he had been the last client of a prostitute who reportedly died after suffering convulsions moments after he fled the brothel in Valencia.

Police have already searched rubbish bins in his home town and surrounding villages and are now understood to be focusing on waste plants and municipal tips.

Spanish media reports said a waste plant collecting household rubbish from the area where Palma lived had been ordered to suspend operations at midday yesterday to facilitate the search for Marta’s body parts.

After Palma’s reported confession, it is not yet clear what he told cops during a subsequent formal interview in the presence of his defense lawyer.

Juan Carlos Fulgencio, a central government spokesman for the Valencia region, said after the suspect’s arrest: “We could be looking not only at a disappearance but also at physical aggression that could have resulted in Marta’s violent death.

“Jorge Ignacio has been arrested, he is in Spain and he is going to be questioned about Marta’s violent disappearance.

“The hypothesis that’s always been on the table is that she suffered a violent assault that possibly caused her death.”

Palma, who returned to Spain after being jailed for drug trafficking following his 2008 arrest, vanished five days after Marta’s disappearance.

He is said to have handed himself in to police after being pressured into doing so by his family.

The rented home where he was last seen with Marta, and a car he is suspected of trying to have disposed of at a scrapyard, had already been searched by police.

Detectives knew where the missing woman had been the night she was last seen because she sent a WhatsApp to her mum with her exact location on as a precaution.

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Court Finds Orji Kalu Guilty Of N7.1bn Fraud



The Federal High Court in Lagos has convicted a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, who was charged with N7.1bn fraud, according to a report by Punch.

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuted Kalu and a former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Ude Udeogo for fraud.

They also charged Kalu alongside his company, Slok Nig. Ltd.

In the charge brought against the defendants, the EFCC alleged that they committed the alleged offenses between August 2001 and October 2005.

It said that Kalu utilized his company’s account to retain N200 million in First Inland bank (now First City Monument Bank).

The commission claimed that the sum formed part of funds illegally derived from the coffers of the Abia State Government.

In one of the counts, Kalu’s company (Slok Nig. Ltd.) and one Emeka Abone said to be at large, were alleged to have retained in the company’s account, the sum of N200 million on behalf of the ex-governor.

In counts one to 10, the defendants were alleged to have retained about N2.5 billion belonging to the Abia.

The EFCC said that the defendants diverted over N7.1 billion from Abia government’s treasury during Kalu’s tenure as the governor, in contravention of Sections 15(6), 16 and 21 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2005.

The commission said that the offenses also contravene the provisions of the Money Laundering Act of 1995 as amended.

More details later…

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EFCC Arraigns Aisha Aikali Wakil AKA “Mama Boko Haram” For N66 Million Fraud




The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday dragged Barr. Aisha Alkali Wakil popularly called Mama Boko Haram to court over allegations of fraud amounting to N66 million, TheNation has revealed.

Mama Boko Haram along with Tahiru Alhaji Saidu Daura, the Programme Manager of Complete Care and Aid Foundation, an NGO owned by Barr. Aisha Wakil was also joined in the suite. The case which was read before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court, Maiduguri on a-3 count charge borders on “cheating and conspiracy to the tune of N 66m”.

Ali Tijjani, the petitioner alleged that, on 7th September, 2018, his company was awarded a contract to supply processed maize grain otherwise called BISKI worth N51m.

He further alleged that, his company collected the said grain from Maiduguri Flour Mills and supplied it to the NGO and was received by one Tahiru Alhaji Saidu Daura on behalf of Complete Care and Aid Foundation.

Tijani also alleged that the duo requested AMTMAT Global Ventures to process and fund the CEO and Programme Manager’s trip to Morocco to the tune of N51m.

Count two reads: “That you TAHIRU SAIDU DAURA, while being a Programme Manager of COMPLETE CARE AND AID FOUNDATION, AISHA ALKALI being the CEO of COMPLETE CARE AND AID FOUNDATION. On the 7h September, 2018 at Maiduguri within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dishonestly induced ALI TIJJANI the CEO and Alter Ego of AMTMAT Global Ventures to deliver to you processed Maize grains (BISKI) valued at N51, 000,000.00 (Fifty Five Million Naira) which you are yet to pay and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320(a) and punishable under Section 322 of the Penal Code Cap 102 Laws of Borno State.”

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

The prosecution counsel, Fatsuma Muhammad applied for a trial date and requested for the remand of the defendant in the Correctional Centre.

In her ruling, Justice Kumaliya ordered awarded N30 bail against the defendant and two sureties in the like sum. Those sureties according to the judge must be at the level of a permanent secretary in the Civil Service and must equally have landed property in GRA, Maiduguri with the property’s tittles deposited with the court registrar.

The matter was adjourned to January 13, 2020 for trial.

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