The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has waded into the $44.9 million wire fraud and money laundering case against Air Peace Chief Executive Allen Ifechukwu Athan Onyema hours after his indictment in the United States (US), according to The Nation.
The paper said information at its disposal revealed that the EFCC has raised a special panel to investigate the matter shortly after receiving the charges against Onyema.
According to the report, the anti-graft agency’s move is in line with standard practice and also the need to handle the local side of the alleged money laundering.
“In fact, the Acting EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu directed the team members to work round the clock at the weekend because it is a case we must work on with speed.
“We are also interested in the roles played by two banks in the country including one that has been on our radar for a while for money laundering. This same bank was implicated in the $115m poll bribery scam in 2015 for which former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke is wanted for trial,” the paper quoted a source as saying.
Onyema was accused along with his finance officer, Ejiroghene Eghagha, by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) of “moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through some United States banks in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.”