Allen Onyema, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria's Air Peace (P4, Lagos), had his passport seized by the country's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on December 1, Nigerian newspaper Vanguard said.

The move to restrict Onyema's movement comes following the US court decision to charge him with 27 counts of money laundering on November 23. As a result, the US court has issued a warrant to arrest Onyema and bring him into custody.

An EFCC spokesperson said: "Following his interaction with our detectives, it became imperative to restrict his movement to the country because we will need him from time to time."

“We have seized his passports for unfettered comprehensive investigation. And so far, he has cooperated with our team. During our interaction, he maintained his innocence. We have, however, made progress in our preliminary investigation."

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) last week indicted Onyema along with the Nigerian carrier's Chief of Administration and Finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, on bank fraud and money laundering charges. It alleged that the two had colluded in moving more than USD20 million from Nigeria through US bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents for an aircraft purchase. Over USD14 million dollars worth of funds linked to Onyema's firms have been frozen in bank accounts in the United States and Canada as a result of the inquest.