By: Chris O. Maduka
I’ve reacted extensively on this on my Facebook walls. The Nigerian authorities, not Allen Onyema must rise in defence of their vital and financial interests. The Minister of Justice and the Attorney General in collaboration with the Minister of Foreign affairs must ask their US counterparts: What the hell is going on here? America is not a respecter of people agreed, but selective prosecution must not be allowed.
In my honest assessment what transpired here is not more than a misdemeanor. I doubt if they will go after say an Isreali company in this manner. Not possible.
These kinds of power flexing can only be applied to countries like Nigeria with weak institutions and leadership with its own personal integrity challenges. Otherwise this is where proper power play comes into effect.
This is nothing like some kind of lone individual Nigrrian citizen in one obscure corner of the US with questionable Source of income. This is an Airline operator for well over ten years in operation in a country considered the most lucrative market in AirTravel industry in the world.
A country that kept Airlines like British Airways profitable even at the very lowest period of AirTravel of September 11th terrorists attacks that involved hijack of commercial aircrafts.
AirTravel dropped dramatically and most Americans operators were forced to park their Aircrafts at the Arizona and California deserts. But the British Airways remained profitable all thanks to the Nigerian market.
So these Georgia based prosecutors are alleging that AIRPEACE has been operating at a loss all these years and therefore lack the financial muscles to effect growth and expansion in there operations? Except if they are not telling us the full gist, so far what we’ve heard sound to me like some kind of red herring and malicious trial by publicity.
There’s no where they’ve indicated who was defrauded. So this is a different matter, and this is why the Nigrrian authorities and AIRPEACE must not move with unnecessary trepidations.
This is a clear case of over zealous prosecutors trying to accomplish some kind of clandestine goals. That’s the way the game is played in the shark infested treacherous water of global competition for those that do not know. There’s no fair play. It is all a cold game. But then pretty much depends on the Nation in question.
I recalled when the American oil Majors moved against Emeka Offor oil firm when he beat them to the oil deals in Sao Tome and Princi. But the then President Obasanjo stood his grounds in defense of the Nigerian indigenous oil firm, and the case subsided.
People should go and research how Boeing attempted to rubbish Airbus, the European aircraft makers when Airbus was eating their lunch and gaining market share. But the Europeans rose to the occasion and protected their interest. Same goes for auto manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industries.
Another question that people have not asked here is : why did they restrict the conspiracy charges only to the two individual Nigerian executives? Who did they conspire with? Who are those that acted in concert with the Nigerian Executives to commit the alleged illegality.
Where’s the CBN on this and the American financial institutions? Are these prime beneficiaries of these transactions equally innocent by standers? No, they are not the target. The Rising AIRPEACE airline with its very brilliant and robust AirTravel Master plans are the target. The very lucrative Nigerian AirTravel industry dominated by foreign operators is the focus.
Where did the Jusrisdiction of the American prosecutor start and where did it end. Perhaps one should think that they should’ve started with the American companies for what ever improper transactions before kiting beyond their immediate jurisdiction into the diplomatic line of scrimmage. From what they’ve mentioned so far, they’ve not disclosed what area of the transaction that involved any illegal institution or involved questionable funds.
What we are hearing is a mere benign missteps in the ever overreaching American pretentious financial ethical posturing and process.
The AIRPEACE and Chief Onyema must stand up and fight. They should as a matter of urgency engage very powerful private investigators, involving former FBI and justice department officials that will most likely dig deeper and unravel where the water runs deep in this whole legal brouhaha..
At the very worse case scenario this should’ve been some kind of misdemeanor that should’ve attracted some kind of fine and reprimand and not the very draconian heavy handed indictment they are putting out to accomplish some unspecified goals .
But my worry still remains the mindset of our people who are very ignorant and ever predisposed to dance to whatever tone played by the some dubious and over ambitious foreign prosecutor who often feel that they are liberty to apply one sided diplomatic foray into foreign countries with very weak institutions.
Given the current political situation in Nigeria and the ever presence of resentment from less competitive elements within this country, those who have failed woefully where Allen Onyema and AIRPEACE seems to have succeeded and continue to succeed, I’ve painfully started writing the Obituary of AIRPEACE, and of course death of
another component of a dying nation.