Lawyer sues FG over alleged move to extradite Air Peace boss to USA

A human rights lawyer, Johnmary Jideobi has dragged the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice before a Federal High Court in Abuja over an alleged move to extradite the Chairman of Air Peace Airline Company, Mr Allen Ifechukwu Athan Onyema to the United States of America (USA) for trial in an alleged fraud.

The Abuja based legal practitioner is praying the court to stop the Federal Government from making any attempt to ferry Onyema to America on the request of the American government for whatever reason.

He also requested for an order of the court restraining any agency of government with prosecutorial powers as represented by AGF either by themselves, their servants, privies, assigns or any other person or authority from attempting to use or seeking to harass, threaten, arrest or inviting or arresting Onyema in relations to civil aviation contract he entered with American authorities through his companies.

The fundamental human rights enforcement suit against AGF was filed by the human rights activist cum lawyer as a Concerned Nigerian Citizen.

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In the suit numbered: FHC/ABJ/CS/1446/2019, the activist also sought the court order barring government, its agencies, servants of privies from giving effect to any extradition request from any country of the world especially the USA anchored on any indictment or charges reflecting in substance or similar fact as contained in the US extradition request against Onyema.

The court was also urged to make any other order or orders as circumstances in his situation may warrant.

In a 6-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit, the applicant claimed to have come from Anambra state with Onyema and that he had known him as a reputable businessman in the aviation sector over the years.

The activist averred that the freedom of Onyema has become endangered in the country and likely to be curtailed in the circumstances of the alleged fraud indictment.

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The affidavit deposed to by one Martin’s Okoye, a legal practitioner said that the applicant has piously with sufficient understanding the entirety of the alleged criminal indictment and believed that the totality of the facts and circumstances surrounding the indictment points to multiple civil aviation-related transactions Onyema, through his companies entered into with his business partners in America whose businesses have not shown to have come under any criminal suspicion in America.

He, therefore, asked the court to declare that the federal government has no power to abridge the fundamental right of Onyema to freedom of movement as enshrined under section 35 of the 1999 constitution.

Onyema was said to have been indicted for fraud by the American government.

The American authorities were said to have been making efforts to apply for extradition of the businessman to enable them to put him on trial for the alleged fraud.

Meanwhile, no date has yet been fixed for hearing of the suit filed on November 25, 2019.

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