Connect with us

Society

Alleged $20m Fraud: U.S. court fixes date for trial of Alex Onyema’s suspected collaborator

Published

on

A United States court has rescheduled the trial of Ebony Mayfield, a woman accused of helping the founder of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, to facilitate a $20 million bank fraud.

A new court document obtained by PREMIUM TIMES shows the U.S. District Court of Northern Georgia, Atlanta Division, has rescheduled for trial for August 8, 2022.

The document shows the court has jettisoned the earlier trial date of June 27, 2022 date earlier fixed in February by the court.

The judge, Eleanor Ross, issued a notice for the change in the earlier trial date following a request by Ms Mayfield’s legal team, the court document seen by this newspaper shows.

“Having considered the defendant’s Motion to Continue Trial Date and Associated Motions Filing Dates and the reasons set forth therein, the motion is hereby GRANTED.

“The trial and associated motions filing deadlines are hereby CONTINUED. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday, August 8, 2022 at 9:00 am in Courtroom 1708, 75 Ted Turner Drive SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303,” the judge said in the notice issued on March 19.

Prosecutors say Mayfield allegedly signed and submitted false documents used by Mr Onyema to defraud banks.

Mr Onyema and Air Peace Limited’s Head of Administration and Finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, also face 36 charges at the U.S. court in connection with the alleged fraudulent scheme. But they have yet to show up or send a lawyer to represent them in court.

Details of the case earlier reported by PREMIUM TIMES include how Mr Onyema allegedly recruited Ms Mayfield to act as a manager of his Springfield Aviation Company LLC, which he allegedly used for perpetrating the alleged $20 million fraud between May 2016 and February 2018.

Springfield Aviation, according to court documents seen by this newspaper, was established by Mr Onyema in the U.S. state of Georgia in April 2016 purportedly to specialise in “the wholesaling, trading and sale of commercial aircraft and parts”.

How fraud was allegedly perpetrated
The alleged fraud allegedly began with Mr Onyema and others applying for export letters of credit to cause the transfer of funds purportedly to fund the purchase of aircraft by Air Peace from Springfield Aviation, between May 2016 up till at least February 2018.

In support of the letters of credit, Mr Onyema and others were said to have submitted documents such as purchase agreements, bills of sale, and appraisals proving that Air Peace was purchasing the aircraft from Springfield Aviation Company LLC.

The Head of Administration and Finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, was said to have sent the documents to Ms Mayfield and directed her to sign them on behalf of Springfield Aviation.

Mr Eghagha, according to court filings, also instructed Ms Mayfield to present the documents to the respective banks in support of each letter of credit.

The support documents, U.S. prosecutors say, were found to be falsified. The aircraft that was referenced in each of the export letters of credit was also never owned or sold by Springfield Aviation, the government added.

The submission of the documents allegedly enabled Mr Onyema to cause banks to transfer more than $20 million into Atlanta-based bank accounts of Springfield Aviation controlled by him.

Mr Onyema, after receiving the money in the United States, allegedly laundered over $16 million of the proceeds of the fraud by transferring it to other accounts.

Charges
The CEO of Air Peace, a major Nigerian airline operator, and Mr Eghagha now face 36 charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, and credit application fraud in the U.S. court.

On her part, Ms Mayfield, who was arrested on June 7, 2019 for her alleged roles in the alleged fraud, faces only one charge of bank fraud in a different case at the same court.

The U.S. government filed a charge against her in open court in December 2019. She has since been granted bail.

Prosecutors say she was recruited as a manager of Springfield Aviation with the role of entering into aviation-related contract on behalf of the firm, despite her lack of education, training, or licensing in the review and valuation of aircraft, including aircraft components.

In a court filing obtained by PREMIUM TIMES which Ms Mayfield filed for variation of her bail bond, she indicated to be “a food service professional” also known as waitress.

While the court has fixed August 8 for her trial, no date has been fixed for the trial of Mr Onyema and Mr Eghagha by the U.S. court due to their unavailability.

Society

Bank Of Industry’s Former MD, Rasheed Olaoluwa, Others To Be Arraigned November 23

Published

on

The absence of the former Managing Director (MD), Bank of Industry (BoI), Rasheed Olaoluwa, and three others, on Tuesday frustrated their planned arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe of the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja.

Others expected to be docked before the judge includes Sadat Abdullahi Aliyu, Mr Chibundu Edozie, and BGL Capital Limited.

They are to face a 13-count charge bordering on the alleged sale of BoI shares as slammed against them by the anti-graft agency.

In addressing the court, the Commission’s lawyer, Kehinde Adetoye, said though the case was slated for arraignment, the defendants were duly contacted that their arrangement would come up in court.

The counsel equally informed the judge that the Defendants were granted administrative bail since 2020, and ought to be in court for their arrangement.

In his response, Olabode Iranloye, counsel to the 2nd defendant (Sadat Abdullahi Aliyu) tendered an apology for the absence of his client and gave the assurance that the defendants would be in court at the next adjourned date to take their plea.

This prompted Justice Abike-Fadipe to adjourn the matter until November 23, 2022, for arraignment.

It would be recalled that the EFCC had sometimes in 2016 carried out a raid on the Lagos office of the BoI following what it termed a discreet investigation it had been conducting.

Continue Reading

Society

How New Owner Saved Sheraton Hotel From Dwindling Fortunes, Den for High-class Sex Workers.

Published

on

The fortunes of Sheraton Hotels will soon be revived having been majorly acquired by its new owners. In its heydays, the luxury hotel was the place to be and commanded high patronage from the elites of society.

But in the last few years, the respect that the hotel commanded has dwindled considerably. With patrons allegedly complaining about one thing or the other, the chain of hotels, two in Lagos State and one in Abuja, is allegedly, currently surviving on its past glory.

Patrons of Four Points by Sheraton, Victoria Island, Lagos, complain about the hospitality centre becoming a den for high-class sex workers. It is alleged that the once serene environment where business moguls hold and attend conferences, lunch, dinner, and leisure meetings has over time become a sanctuary for these ‘businesswomen who come to the hotel in groups at times to seek prospective customers.

They allegedly contribute to lodge in the hotel to enable them to gain access to the swimming pool and bar areas where they can easily have access to meet rich clientele who also lodge there or are there for a drink or business meeting. These ‘business women’ allegedly became quite brazen, harassing unsuspecting customers, pitching their bodies as essential commodities to be had for a fee.

Many patrons have complained about the once luxurious Lagos Sheraton Hotel. They claim that the entire building looks like it could do with a face-lift. It is shabby, they said, and the interior décor is urgently in need of an overhaul. They have also complained about the grubby furniture and the fact that the hotel’s structures no longer match the brand.

The management of the Abuja branch of the hotel has been accused of institutionalising racism and gender-insensitive policies. Perhaps all of these may have contributed to 22 Hospitality Limited acquiring a majority stake of 66 per cent of the shares of the hotel group.

Following its acquisition, five members of the board of Capital Hotel Plc, the owners of Sheraton Hotel, resigned from their positions. They are Chief Anthony Idigbe, SAN; Dr Alexander Thomopulos; Mrs Fadeke Olugbemi; Mrs Helen Da-Souza and Mr Akpofure Ibru. 22 Hospitality Limited, the new owners of Sheraton Hotels, is a subsidiary of 11 Plc, formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria.

11 Plc is ironically owned by Ramesh Kansagra one of the richest Asians in the United Kingdom. Besides being the chairman of 11 Plc, Kansagra is also the Managing Director of Solai Holdings Limited, an investment services company with net asset value in excess of £160m.

Solai Holdings is involved in oil trading, raw materials for ceramic industry, agriculture and food industries processing with various investments in Africa and the UK. Ramesh holds 135 appointments at 135 active companies. The asset value of all businesses where Ramesh holds appointments equals €144.4 million, a combined total current assets vue of €745.7 million with a total current liabilities of €697.1 million and a total current net worth of €835.4 million. Ramesh is a recipient of the honourary award, Member of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Continue Reading

Society

GLOWFUX Concert ’22: FANAFILLIT set to host 1,000 children and adults to a fiesta

Published

on

The organizers of the annual GLOWFUX Charity Concert, Fanafillit Integrated Concepts, have announced their plans to host not less than 1,000 adults and children from special homes across Lagos State. This was contained in its official statement made available to the press on Friday, to announce the official commencement of activities for the annual end-of-the-year social intervention event.

According to the statement signed by the Project Coordinator, Miss Margaret Ngonadi, this year’s edition marks the 7th edition of the impactful project and the second time of spreading its tentacles across Lagos State. “As we aim to again host children from special homes like orphanages, rehabilitation centers, less privileged homes, and homes of people with special abilities, we are not going back on our promise last year to make this glamorous event statewide”, the statement reads.

Reiterating their commitment to the project, the organizers stated that they look forward to giving everyone a funfilled, exciting, and memorable experience at this year’s edition of the GLOWFUX Charity Concert which is slated to hold on Saturday, 28th of December, 2022 at Dan & Den Arena, Elegushi Beachfront, Lekki, Lagos.

“The general public is welcomed to celebrate with our VIP guests who will be joining us from several orphanages/special need homes across Lagos State. Admission to the event is strictly by registration through the GLOWFUX registration link and invitations to some members of the public. However, all members of the public attending the event are encouraged to come with gift items as that’s part of the criterion for clearance at the entry point”, a part of the statement read.

On the content of the event, the organizers assured that this year’s edition of the GLOWFUX Concert promises to feature an avalanche of entertainment, gifts, food and drinks for all. “While we already have on board some notable entertainment practitioners like Kemi Stone, Da’Fresh Olorin, Vanessa Jones, Ogbono, TalkTalk, Princephelar, Meyrah, Maryjane Dawn, FKM, Dharnniella, we are working on more popular brands and entertainment practitioners to merry with the children and make them experience the overwhelming joy of the end-of-the-year festivities. Notable amongst entertainment brands we are in talks with are Prince Jide Kosoko, Funsho Adeolu, Bimbo Akintola, Yemi Blaq, Shushu Abubakar, Yinka Alaseyori and a host of others”, said the project coordinator in the release.

Also, the organizers announced the introduction of a new award category to its GLOWFUX Hall of Charity Award Category which is tagged GLOWFUX Charitable Corporate brand of the year to recognize and celebrate Corporate Brands whose charitable endeavors have impacted their immediate community.

The organizers of the GLOWFUX Charity Concert encourage the general public to join the cause as they set to put smiles on the faces of 1000 Special Children through donations and by attending the events with gifts.

GLOWFUX (Giving Love With Fun for Xmas) is an annual end-of-the-year charity concert that brings together children from orphanages/special need homes across the state for an unusual end-of-the-year celebration with the general public.

The last six editions of the GLOWFUX Charity Concert have recorded myriads of impact across the State with about 1,500 children from several special homes (government-owned and private-owned) as beneficiaries.

In addition to existing brands like iCare Foundation, Hands Lifting Hearts Initiatives, Corsican Brothers, Elegushi Royal stool, MALENS diagnostics, Headway Events, DJ MAPS Productions, OPREM Photography and NSNF who have always been part of the project, other notable being considered to come on board this year’s edition includes Fidson Healthcare, Beloxxi Biscuits, Dano Milk, Unilever Nig, Seniors Wellbeing Foundations, AkModel Properties, Hypo, Dan & Den Lounge, Germane Auto and SIFAX Group.

The media supports for this year includes AIT, KRAKS TV, Legit.ng, Pulse.ng, thestatusng.blogspot.com theeagleonline.com.ng, thegazellenews.com, newspop.com, mockinbird.com.ng, omonaijablog.com.ng, societyreporters.com, theheute.com.ng, freedomonline.com.ng, Hottestgistinnaija.com, Encomium magazine, YES! International magazine, theelitesng.com freedomonline.com.ng, thecitypulsenews.com, Global Excellence magazine, saharaweeklyng.com freelanews.com theimpactnewspaper.com

Inquiries on the partnership, support, and donations can be forwarded to any of the following contact 07032312815, 08111236196, 09159712472, 07061893629, 08103103198, or connect with the organizer on their social media pages @glowfux.

Donations can also be made through the link https://donate-ng.com/campaign/glowfux-concert

Continue Reading

Trending