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US Indictment: Lawyer Asks Court to Bar Extradition of Air Peace Boss, Allen Onyema

A Nigerian Lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Johnmary C. Jideobi, has instituted a suit in the Federal High Court in Abuja for the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of the embattled Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, who is facing fraud allegations in the United States of America.

The Abuja based legal practitioner in the suite no: FHC/ABJ/CS/1446/2019 filed on Monday, and a copy obtained by PRNigeria prayed the Court to bar the Federal Government of Nigeria and Attorney General of the Federation/Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami as well as other agencies of government from harassing or extraditing Onyema to the US against his will.

He sought a seven-point reliefs including a declaration by the Court that the Federal Government and or any of its agencies with prosecutorial powers as represented by Malami who is the Respondent “is/are without powers to abridge the fundamental right of Onyema to freedom of movement as donated by Section 35 of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

The Legal Practitioner also wants the Court to declare “that on the authority of Diamond Bank PLC vs. Opara (2018) LPELR-43907(SC) the Federal Government of Nigeria and or any of its agencies with prosecutorial powers as represented by the Respondent herein cannot derogate from the constitutional right to freedom of movement by attempting to forcefully expel and or extradite Onyema from the shores of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to any other country of the world for the purposes of any criminal trial whose substance arose from underlying civil aviation contracts”.

Also to declare that they “cannot give effect to any extradition request from any country of the world in so far as the ingredients or constituent facts of the indictment and or charges underlying the said request are traceable to or related with or arose from diverse civil aviation contracts entered into by Onyema through his duly registered companies with other duly registered companies in other jurisdictions especially in the United States of America”.

Jideobi also sought an order of the Court to perpetually bar” the Federal Government of Nigeria and or any of its agencies with prosecutorial powers as represented by the Respondent herein either by themselves, their servants, privies, assigns or any other person or authority acting either in concert with them, on their behalf or under them from giving effect to any extradition request from any country of the world in so far as the ingredients or constituent facts of the indictment and or charges underlying the said request are traceable to or related with or arose from diverse civil aviation contracts entered into by Onyema through his duly registered companies with other duly registered companies in other jurisdictions especially in the United States of America”.

He also sought a Court order perpetually barring the Federal Government of Nigeria and or any of its agencies from attempting to use or seeking to use harass, threaten to arrest, inviting and or arresting the Applicant in relation with the civil contract he mutually entered into through his duly registered companies with other aviation companies especially in the United States of America or anything connected thereto.

The Applicant holds the clear belief that the Constitution of Nigeria alongside the extant Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009 empowers him to initiate proactive steps to “protect these highly cherished Fundamental Rights of Onyema now that there is the likelihood that the Federal Government of Nigeria through any of its prosecutorial agencies” may abridge these rights.

According to him, the suit seeks to enforce the beneficiary’s Fundamental Human Rights to ward off their impending or likely erosion by the law Federal Government of Nigeria who may lend its weight to the extradition request the Government of the United States of America may present to it in violation of the pronouncement of our Supreme Court in the case relied on.

To this end, Jideobi wants the Court to determine whether having regard to the provision of Section 46 (1) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the Fundamental Rights of the Air Peace boss to freedom of movement, protected by sections 35 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), have not been endangered and exposed to erosion by the facts and circumstances revealed in the US charges.

No date has been fixed for hearing.

By PRNigeria