Fred Itua, Abuja
Over 180 civil society organisations have condemned the recent indictment of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AirPeace Airlines, Mr. Allen Onyema, by the United States of America.
The organisations operating on the platform of Civil Society Group for Good Governance, described the accusation as unfair.
They called on the Nigerian and the Federal Government to defend their own and ensure he is protected from any form of foreign attacks.
Convener of the coalition, Ogakwu Dominic, said: “This sadly reminds us of the recent outcry over the proposed social media bill that has made people believe that government may be right after all. It is widely known that the presumption of innocence is the legal principle, where one is considered innocent until proven guilty, the legal burden, the proof of allegation for prosecution.
“It is this note to consciously note that Allen Onyema has not been proven guilty of the said crime and this sad incidence has caused a huge dent on his image and that of his esteemed establishment.
“In our understudy of Onyema and his activities, we have gathered that Mr. Onyema, is a man who played patriotic role in protecting the image of Nigeria in the recent times, for singlehandedly evacuating about 500 Nigerians from South Africa during the xenophobic attacks in September, a feat which cost him about N280 million to achieve.
“Barely few months, an unverified report sprang up and Nigerians who should stand for their own, have refused to do so instead, ganged up both in the Electronic and Print Media, Social media to drag a man who has continuously placed
“Mr. Onyeama should be given the benefit of doubt, since the accused, has publicly debunked and classified the said allegation as false and promised to come with more clarification to prove his innocence.
“All published publications castigating and speaking against Mr. Onyema be taken down from host websites of online news platforms that negatively reported the above mater of allegation.
“Nigerians should stand in solidarity behind Onyema, as this issue, if escalated further with lips blasting and further accusations would be very cancerous on Nigeria and its foundation especially in the Aviation sector.”