Chairman of Air Peace Limited, Chief Allen Onyema, has said he acquired all the airline’s aircraft legitimately with his money.
He said there was no fraud in the plane purchases nor did he take any loans from any United States Bank.
Onyema, in a statement by his lawyer Augustine Alegeh (SAN) said the U.S had admitted no loss was suffered by any bank over the purchases.
Alegeh stated that the indictment filed against Ebony Mayfield by the United States Attorney for Northern District of Georgia was concluded at the District Court in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday.
Mayfield was indicted over letters of credit issued regarding the Airpeace aircraft purchases.
The SAN said: “Ebony Mayfield, a former staff of Springfield Aviation Company Inc. was on Friday given Probation and a $4,000 fine in respect of the criminal indictment filed against her by the United States Attorney for Northern District of Georgia after an investigation spanning over three years and involving about five agencies of the US government.
“Ebony was an administrative staff with limited knowledge in Letter of Credit transactions and pleaded guilty to one count in the indictment, presumably as she realised the futility of attempting to explain several Letters of Credit utilised for purchase of Aircraft for Air Peace Limited in a jury trial.
“Probation is the lowest possible sentence available under US federal law.
“Ebony was not given any prison sentence, confinement or home detention by the court.
“This confirms the position of our clients that there was no fraudulent intent in all the Letters of Credit, and there was no victim in any way, manner or form.
“All the funds involved were legitimate funds belonging to our clients.
“There was no loss of money or any damage whatsoever to any third party. The US Government admitted in court that no bank suffered any financial loss in this matter.”
Alegeh said there had been false and unsubstantiated reports about the indictment.
“Our clients never took loans or credit from any US bank and Ebony was never paid the sum of $20,000.00 at any time to commit any fraud as is being peddled by a section of the Nigerian press.
“Ebony, like other Springfield Aviation Company Inc. staff was only paid her bi-weekly salary and/or allowances,” he said.
The SAN believes the stories were far from the truth and were deliberately being peddled by for ulterior motives.
He added: “Our clients maintain their innocence in the matter and state that all steps taken in respect of the Letters of Credit were taken in good faith and with legitimate funds.
“All the aircraft involved were brought into Nigeria and utilised in the operations of Air Peace Limited. There was no victim; there was no loss of funds to any person and there was no criminal intent whatsoever.
“Our clients’ position has been reviewed by various law enforcement agencies in Nigeria and no evidence of criminality has been established against our clients, who remain resolute in their assertion of innocence.”