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Allen Onyema, Air Peace CEO, Indicted for Fraud, Money Laundering in US

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  • Allen Onyema, Air Peace CEO, Indicted for Fraud, Money Laundering in US

The United States Department of Justice on Friday indicted Allen Ifechukwu Athan Onyema, the Chairman and founder of Air Peace, for bank fraud and money laundering involving the transfer of more than $20 million from Nigeria through the United States bank accounts with false documents.

The Department of Justice also charged Ejiroghene Eghagha, the Chief of Administration and Finance, Air Peace, with bank fraud and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.

According to DOJ, Onyema, who founded several organisations like Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Center for Non-Violence and Peace Development, and All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited meant to promote peace across Nigeria, started travelling frequently to Atlanta, USA in 2010. However, between 2010 and 2018, Onyema had opened several personal and business bank accounts with over $44.9 million moved into his Atlanta-based accounts from foreign sources.

In 2013, Onyema founded Air Peace and acquired multiple airplanes from the United States. The DOJ, however, said $3 million of the funds used in the acquisition of the airplanes came from bank accounts opened for Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Center for Non-Violence and Peace Development, All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited, and Every Child Limited.

The U.S. Department of Justice said by May 2016, the Air Peace founder with Eghagha used several ‘export letters of credit’ to cause banks to transfer more than $20 million into Onyema’s Atlanta-based bank accounts to fund the purchase of five Boeing 737 passenger planes.

These letters of credit were backed by purchase agreements, bills of sale, and appraisals proving that Air Peace was acquiring the aircraft from a business registered in Georgia, Springfield Aviation Company LLC.

However, “the supporting documents were fake — Springfield Aviation Company LLC, which is owned by Onyema and managed by a person with no connection to the aviation business, never owned the aircraft, and the company that allegedly drafted the appraisals did not exist. Eghagha allegedly participated in this scheme as well, directing the Springfield Aviation manager to sign and send false documents to banks and even using the manager’s identity to further the fraud. After Onyema received the money in the United States, he allegedly laundered over $16 million of the proceeds of the fraud by transferring it to other accounts,” the DOJ stated.

“Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “We will diligently protect the integrity our banking system from being corrupted by criminals, even when they disguise themselves in a cloak of international business.”

Commenting on the indictment, Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division, said: “Allen Onyema’s status as a wealthy businessman turned out to be a fraud. He corrupted the U.S. banking system, but his trail of deceit and trickery came to a skidding halt. DEA would like to thank the many law enforcement partners and the subsequent prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office who aided in making this investigation a success.”

“This case is a prime example of why IRS-CI seeks to partner and leverage its expertise in an effort to thwart those seeking to exploit our nation’s financial system,” said Thomas J. Holloman, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office. “With the importance of our banking system to the movement of money around the world, those attempting to use intricate schemes to commit bank fraud through the use of falsified documents and other means should know that the odds are now heavily stacked against them as law enforcement is combining its talents to protect the sanctity and integrity of the nation’s financial system.”

“Onyema setup various innocent sounding multi-million dollar asset purchases which were nothing more than alleged fronts for his scam,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in Georgia and Alabama. “I’m proud to be part of a team of law enforcement agencies that come together to identify and attack criminals that attempt to profit from the exploitation of our nation’s financial systems.”

Onyema was recently celebrated in Nigeria after evacuating over 600 Nigerians from South Africa during Xenophobic attacks on African immigrants.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Sport Business

Disqualified Nigerian Athletes Protest in 2021 Tokyo Olympics

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While other countries are celebrating heroic feats and medals in Tokyo, Team Nigeria‘s situation is different as the athletes are protesting the ‘shame’ brought upon the country by negligent sports administrators.

It was reported on Wednesday how 10 of the country’s athletes were disqualified from taking part in the Olympic Games due to their failure to undertake the mandatory three out-of-competition tests expected of athletes taking part in a competition of this magnitude.

Rather than take full responsibility for their failings, the Sports Ministry labeled those affected as ‘alternate and foreign students athletes, whose tests did not meet with sample collection and analysis standards’.

This has not gone down well with the affected athletes who then staged a protest to register their displeasure.

The Athletic Federation of Nigeria, (AFN); the ministry of youth and sports development and the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC are all complicit in this national embarrassment brought on Nigeria.

These bodies were saddled with ensuring that the athletes affected undergo the tests in the build-up to the Olympics as prescribed by the World Athletics rules.

During Friday’s protest, the athletes carried various placards with inscriptions such as “We are not just alternate but are potential medalists”, “All we wanted to do is to compete,” “Why should we suffer for someone else’s negligence?”

 

 

Disqualified Nigerian Athletes

Meanwhile, President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Tonobok Okowa, has appointed Ken Anugweje as the Head of the Medical and Anti Doping Commission of the Federation.

This step is coming on the heels of the Athletics Integrity Unit’s decision to disqualify the 10 Nigerian athletes from competing at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics due to uncompleted Out of Competition Tests (OCTs).

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Five Reasons to Use Instagram Reels Ads to Grow Reach and Reel in Engagement

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If you want to learn how to increase your reach and engagement with your Instagram content, this article will show you why and how you can use Reels to do just that.

Reels are perfect for sharing fun, interactive, and engaging short-form videos that allow you to reach greater audiences. Using our sophisticated editing and video processing tools for AR-filters and effects like green screen opens up an unlimited limitless number of possibilities. Brands and content creators can now leverage the power of Reels through the use of Reels Ads.

With the introduction of the Reels Ads, you can showcase what makes your business different by producing Reels for the products or services your business offers. To get you started, here are five reasons why you should use Instagram Reels Ads to grow your reach and reel in your engagement.

  • Promote your products & services

Odds are, there are a ton of brands out there doing what you do.  Using Instagram Reels Ads, SMBs and content creators can promote product videos, highlight services and amplify special offers in engaging ways. Whether your product is complicated and needs a thorough explanation, or you want to show off cool features, Reels Ads are a fun way to show off what makes your product great.  This also allows customers to be more inclined to purchase from you instead of your competitors. You can offer a fresh perspective here and position yourself to be in front of a much wider (and new) audience, generating tons of additional exposure with every Reels ads you promote.

  • Share your content with a new and diverse audience

With the wide adoption of Instagram Reels, users can now reach a wider and more diverse audience. The Reels ads algorithm is intuitive and powerful, ensuring businesses and creatives can benefit by leveraging the new ads feature on Reels to reach more people. This means that whether you have a large-sized audience or not, your Reels can be discovered by the wider community – purely based on engagement. It is a golden opportunity for brands and content creators to grow their audience and get more followers. Instagram Reels is a huge opportunity for brands and businesses looking to drive awareness and sales from the platform.

  •   Create unique content using interesting features

With Reels, you can boost your engagement rates to an all-time high by experimenting with cool video features and editing tools like sound effects augmented reality, timer and alignment to create seamless clips. You can also overlay music, speed things up or slow them down, add special effects, and more.  Users who like your ads will be able to engage with the ads through likes, comments, and shares.

  • Showcase your brand’s personality

People want to get to know the person (or the people) behind the business. Instagram Reels Ads provides a simple and effective way to humanize brands and express brand personality in a fun way. By using Instagram Reels ads, SMBs and content creators can successfully craft an authentic tone of voice that resonates with their target audience. Some effective ways to showcase brand personality to Reels watchers are by latching onto trends and “rewarding” viewers with discounts and exclusive opportunities. In addition, Reels ads are perfect for sharing corporate videos and/or “behind the scenes” content, whilst taking the time to introduce the work environment and business collaborators.

  • Access Reels through multiple points.

The visibility on the Reels for the Instagram audience is highly beneficial for brands, businesses and creatives alike. The potential to get discovered on Reels ads is high, as Instagram users can assess reels from four different entry points:

(a) Reels in Stories

(b) A dedicated Reels Explore Tab

(c) Reels in Explore

(d) Reels In-Feed Unit.

Reels Ads can be used by big brands, small brands and content creators who are interested in growing reach and reeling in engagement. They offer fresh perspectives and breathe new life into your Instagram account to help you build your following. However, make sure you aim to use reels ads strategically and with purpose before you get started.

Get started with creating Reels Ads on Instagram and have fun creating Reels Ads that incorporate catchy tunes, while sharing your brand story.

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Education

JAMB Holds Mop-Up UTME for Candidates Who Missed Exams August 8

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has scheduled a mop-up Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) on Friday, August 6, 2021, for candidates who missed the examinations due to registration and verification difficulties, and clash of timetables, among others.

The board in a statement on Thursday disclosed that a total of 18,000 candidates are slated to write the examinations in some selected locations across the country.

JAMB said the decision to conduct the examination follows a detailed investigation and careful analysis of the 2021 UTME, and with due consultation with the National Examination Council (NECO) concerning the timetable of the council’s ongoing SSCE.

The rescheduled candidates are in the following categories:

Candidates who could not be initially scheduled for examination owing to their inability to timely procure and supply their mandatory NINs or profile codes until after the close of the registration exercise and, therefore, had to purchase Bank Drafts ( as against the usual vending of PINs) after the scheduled period for the examination and were later registered.

Few candidates who encountered peculiar biometric verification problems, or who failed biometric verification on the examination date ( and were recaptured) but were not allowed to partake in the examination.

The board said adequate screening arrangements have been made to reverify such claims and any candidate found to be involved in any form of impersonation will be identified for prosecution.

Candidates who were unable to sit for the UTME owing to the clash of timetables of the UTME and the then ongoing NABTEB examinations and whose particulars have been verified and supplied directly to JAMB by NABTEB, and

Candidates who have been ascertained by JAMB to have experienced genuine rescheduling/technical problems as was the case in 30 of the 760 centres used for the examination.

The rescheduled candidates have been directed to print fresh examination notification slips containing the venue and time of the examination from the JAMB website using the candidates’ registration number from Sunday, 1st August 2021.

“In addition, the candidate can check using their registration number here

“For the avoidance of doubt, no candidate whose result has been duly released will be rescheduled for another examination contrary to the sponsored fake news being circulated on the social (and few mischievous conventional) media”, the board stated.

The board further advised candidates to avoid supplying their vital information including registration numbers to fraudsters who abound especially in cybercafes (s), tutorial centres springing up almost everywhere in the nation as a result of the illicit activities of examination syndicates.

“CBT centres approved by JAMB which are consistently monitored are relatively more secure for printing examination notification slips by candidates who cannot print such on their own”, the board said.

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