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Arewa group fumes over US-based ‘backmailer’ of Peace Air CEO

By Isa Mohammed, in Lagos

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has risen in defence of Peace Air Chief Executive Mr. Allen Onyema over fresh media campaign alleging that the airline business mogul got his start-up funds from alleged money-laundering windfall by Mr. Kinsley Kuku.

It would be recalled that there was a raging issue of alleged multi-million dollar money laundering case before the United States Justice Department involving Mr. Kuku – who once served as the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

The AYCF, in a statement made available to Politics Today in Lagos and signed by its National President – Alhaji Yerima Shettima, took a swipe at the man behind what it considered a deliberate attempt to willy-nilly drag the Peace Air CEO into a mischievous “mix-up”. The group gave the name of the sponsor of what it called a tirade against the aviation industry investor as Mr. Austin Ogannanah.

“Our independent checks as a CSO have revealed that the Air Peace CEO, Chief Allen Onyema got his start-up capital for the business through legitimate bank loans. And no Nigerian bank gives out loans without thorough paperwork. This also means that if Mr. Ogannanah was not out for cheap blackmail, he would have confronted Mr. Onyema with questions on how he got start-up capital.”, AYCF declared.

” This ( request for clarification) is simple information Ogannanah would have got by asking any Desk Officer at Peace Air, but he would not because of the real intention to bring down this airline and the man”, the group fumed.

“We condemn this cheap and dirty means of extortion through painting innocent compatriots so in black by mixing up wrong information and tying it to an individual investor and his investment”, the AYCF statement further stressed.

The group then said of Chief Onyema’s attack by the ‘blackmailer’: “…. Enough of this band of professional blackmailers picking on big-time investors as targets for fake online media campaign of intimidation and harassment.”

Full text of the statement

PRESS STATEMENT BY AREWA YOUTH CONSULTATIVE FORUM (AYCF) ON THE ATTEMPT OF CHEAP MEDIA BLACKMAIL AGAINST THE CHAIRMAN/CEO, AIR PEACE, MR. ALLEN ONYEMA

It has come to our notice that an enemy of progress has come up with a fresh campaign of calumny designed to rubbish a major private employer of labour in the Aviation industry in Nigeria, Mr Allen Onyema. We have found out that this attacker has been a professional blackmailer.
Using an obscure online newspaper, the blackmailer used an old news report about alleged financial mismanagement by a former chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Program, Mr. Kingsley Kuku and mixed up facts while trying in vain, to insert the Air Peace CEO’s name in the tirade. This blackmailer who is based in the United States is well-known for this dirty game and he is no other than Mr. Austin Ogannanah.

In view of this false-flag attack on Air Peace CEO, a company that has employed thousands of Nigerians, made Nigeria proud during the evacuation program during the worldwide lockdown, sponsored the evacuation of stranded compatriots in South Africa free of charge and elsewhere as corporate social responsibility, we feel duty bound to call a spade by its real name.
We therefore declare as follows:

  1. Our independent checks as a CSO have revealed that the Air Peace CEO, Chief Allen Onyema got his start-up capital for the business through legitimate bank loans. And no Nigerian bank gives out loans without thorough paperwork. This also means that if Mr. Ogannanah was not out for cheap blackmail, he would have confronted Mr. Onyema with questions on how he got start-up capital. This is simple information Ogannanah would have got by asking any Desk Officer at Peace Air, but he would not because of the real intention to bring down this airline and the man. Truth is that those of us at AYCF who ventured to investigate this matter thoroughly will not buy into cheap blackmail narratives. And those who know Mr. Allen Onyema would neither buy into this crap.
  2. We have also established that the unsubstantiated claims in the news story targeted at the Air Peace CEO, Chief Allen Onyema was entirely false, as our independent investigations have now confirmed.
  3. The blackmailer and his media collaborators seem very hopeful that the Peace Air CEO will dash them funds to stop the white lies they attempted to cook in a relatively unknown online media platform.
  4. We condemn this cheap and dirty means of extortion through painting innocent compatriots so in black by mixing up wrong information and tying it to an individual investor and his investment.
  5. The online media collaborators of the blackmailer have left too many loopholes in their dirty campaign. They said the CEO struggled for money as start-up for Peace Air and gave the year he started the purported struggle as 2015, but admitted elsewhere that the company started operation in 2013. This is quite ridiculous and it exposed the underbelly of the blackmailer and his media associates in this easy money-spining venture.
  6. We call on the men and women of good conscience in this country to rise to the occasion by exposing the cartel of blackmailers who specialize in picking out successful businessmen and women that are providing jobs for compatriots and committing hundreds of millions to helping the needy as a strategic corporate social responsibility.

Conclusion

The AYCF says enough of this band of professional blackmailers picking on big-time investors as targets for fake online media campaign of intimidation and harassment.

We wish to state categorically that this abhorrent culture of cheap blackmail for extortion should be fought against by all Nigerians of good conscience before it creates unnecessary confusion and dent the corporate and personal image of the patriotic investors in our midst.

Signed

Alhaji Yerima Shettima
(National President)
On behalf of AYCF

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