US Indictment – When Good Reputation is a Defence: by Sopuru Uwadiegwu

Barrister Allen Onyema, Chairman,  Air Peace








With news of US authorities indicting Nigerian businessman, Allen Onyema hitting the media last week, people reacted spontaneously. Each person was quick to take sides, for or against, but as they say, after the rain comes the sunshine!



According to Sopuru Uwadiegwu, Public Affairs Analyst, “For Onyema and those rallying round him, it was a case of when it rains, it pours. However, professionals, eminent personalities, sociocultural groups, human rights activists are now the voices left, dissecting the issues, devoid of emotions. And the central theme, irrespective of leaning, is that an allegation is not and cannot be a verdict. So, Onyema remains innocent until pronounced guilty by properly constituted court of law.”




International lawyers, financial forensic experts and human rights activists, while counselling the public that reason should prevail, are calling on the federal government of Nigeria to wade in by activating citizen diplomacy, enshrined in international relations for a quick and equitable resolution of the matter.




These voices of reason are insisting that the baby should never be thrown away with the bathwater. They are calling on the federal government of Nigeria to consider the impact mismanaging the situation could have on the Nigerian economy, given that the major characters play in the vital aviation sector, which has defied several efforts by successive administrations at revamping it.




In all of these, what is clear is that a man’s good deeds count, particularly during the days of adversity. This appears to be the way things are going for Onyema known to many people for different things, including, businessman, statesman, citizen diplomat, peace-broker, philanthropist and employer of labour. All these per excellence.




The question now making the rounds, is will or how soon will the federal government of Nigeria rise above sentiments to ensure a quick and equitable resolution of this matter using the citizen diplomacy tool at her disposal?




Uwadiegwu, a public affairs analysts, writes in from Lagos

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