Air Peace boss granted CIP citizenship as Cabinet finalizes plans for wealthy businessmen and performers to be brought here

Allen Onyema, the chief executive officer of Air Peace, has become a
citizen of Antigua and Barbuda under the Citizenship by Investment
Programme (CIP). The Cabinet made the announcement as it
reported on plans for the carrier to fly here in a few weeks. 

Several nationals are asking why Onyema would need Antigua and
Barbuda citizenship, in the first place and whether it is a “gift” from
the Browne Cabinet or was paid for after an application and due

The questions are asked against the backdrop of the recent debacle
with Antigua Airways, in which 10 passport files were supposed to
be this country’s investment in the defunct carrier.

After its failure to launch came to light, PM Browne claimed the
documents had never been delivered – even though two of the failed
carrier’s investors had gone to court for their share of the passports.
Concerned residents say they also want to know whether the issue
of the CIP passport is connected to Onyema’s legal troubles with the
United States, where he once had been indicted, although not
convicted, on allegations of fraud and money laundering.

Meanwhile, this week’s Cabinet Notes say that, on Thursday, July 6,
the Executive received an update from the development
commissioner on the negotiations taking place between the private
Nigerian airline and the Government. 

The commissioner reportedly travelled to Nigeria to meet with the
airline’s principal and a group of Nigerians, all of whom, the Cabinet
claims, are multi-millionaires.

On its inaugural trip, Air Peace will fly a contingent of 50 of these
businesspeople to Antigua for a four-day business symposium, set
for early August.

The Cabinet again confirms that the carrier will also bring several
cultural groups to participate in the Carnival festivities, which begin
later this month.

The visitors will then return to Nigeria, via Air Peace, on August 9,
the day after the curtains come down on the annual summer

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has reported to his
Cabinet colleagues that several other Caribbean countries have tried
to encourage the Air Peace CEO to choose their country from which
to operate services. 

Browne had previously announced that the Nigerian airline is doing
business with Jamaica, but that it had already chosen Antigua and

As the flights commence, the Notes say, specific decisions regarding
visas and nationalities will be issued to the Immigration Department
in order to avoid the debacle that occurred late last year.
Between November and December 2022, over 900 West Africans
arrived here and most of them failed to return home. At that time,
these persons – mostly Cameroonians – were being granted visa-
free waivers on arrival. 

In the meantime, locals are already expressing their unease about
this latest attempt by the Browne Administration to create an air
bridge between the Caribbean and West Africa. Many are afraid that
something fishy will take place, as is widely believed happened in