Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council and other socio-cultural groups in the country have described the recent indictment of the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema by the U. S as an attempt to damage his image.

The groups also pointed accusing fingers at Onyema’s business rivals in the aviation industry as being behind the attempt to pull him down.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the groups comprising Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, Yoruba Council of Youths, the Ijaw Youth Council and Arewa Consultative Youth Forum, under the aegis of Nigerian Ethnic Nationality Youth Leaders Forum, NENYLF, called on the Federal Government to rise to Onyema’s defence and protection.

Recall that the US Department of Justice on Friday, November 22, 2019, indicted Onyema for bank fraud and money laundering.

In the indictment sheet, Onyema was alleged to have moved more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes an allegation which he has denied.

READ ALSO: EFCC Recovers N20m Wristwatches From Arrested Social Media Celeb

He has also expressed his willingness to defend himself before any court of law in the U. S.

In the statement issued NENYLF on Saturday, November 23, 2019, the groups said: “Much as Nigerians will not object to a legal action by any court in the world, we will never, ever fold our arms akimbo and watch helplessly and hopelessly as one of our finest is being coerced and pulled down in broad daylight, without an iota of any subsisting clear evidence from a joint investigation between the US law enforcement agencies and Nigerian counterparts to determine the veracity of the claims before unleashing this dreadful move, deliberately aimed at tainting the image of Onyema.

“We would like to draw the attention of his Nigeria business rivals in the aviation sector, that we suspect high-level complicity and conspiracy theory by some of his sworn enemies working hand-in-hand with their American partners to destroy Onyema’s Air Peace Airline and other investments.

“Consequently we shall explore all available legitimate legal means in defending one of the most exemplary Nigerians and ambassador of peace and uncommon investor; hence Mr. Onyema deserves our unflinching supports.

“We call on fellow Nigerians, leaders of thought and civil society organisations in the country to rise to this new judicial brigandage designed to destroy our own in a foreign land.”