Allen Onyema – the man of the moment
Many people do not know Allen Ifechukwu Onyema. He is the Chairman of Air Peace Airline. Allen is a lawyer, businessman and a Conflict resolution expert.
However, rumor has it that the Air Peace airline is owned by former first lady, Patience Jonathan and that Onyeama is only fronting for her. This is because the name of the airline is called PEACE, and Patience Jonathan is often referred to as Mama Peace.
During an interview with City People, the CEO complained bitterly about the rumor and debugged the claim, stressing that he owns Air Peace.
After the xenophobic attack on foreigners in South Africa, Onyema volunteered his Air Peace Boeing 777 aircraft for the evacuation of about 187 Nigerians on the 11th of September.
Allen Ifechukwu Onyema is a native of Mbosi town in Anambra State, the southeast region of Nigeria. He is a Proud Nigerian of Igbo descent. He was born to fantastic parents who instilled a lot of discipline in him and his siblings.
Allen grew in the old Bendel State, principally, Benin and Warri. He is the first out of nine children and attended several primary and several secondary schools including St. Anthony’s Secondary School, Azia.
He attended Nigeria’s Premier University, the Great University of Ibadan where he studied Law. Between 1987 and 1988, Allen attended the Nigerian Law School and was called to the bar a year later.
After he finished from law school, his parents and uncle wanted him to work for Shell. His uncle, Capt. J.O.W. Onyema was a master marina then and also the Head of Crude Oil Export Terminal, Forcados.
This decision meant he would remain in Warri, and Allen was not comfortable with that as he never liked it.
He wanted to be free, and working at the same place he grew up would still keep him under parental care and control.
At that time, his mother was angry that he was considering a life of the unknown rather than working for Shell. But as a determined fellow, he rebelled against his parents’ and uncle’s decision.
The chairman left for Lagos in 1990 in search of jobs and was squatting in Oshodi. Since he couldn’t afford taxis or buses, he followed rail.
He was bent on practicing his profession as a lawyer.
He searched for a law firm to join to no avail. Fortunately, late Chief Vincent Amobi Nwizugbo offered him an opportunity to learn in his chambers on Martins Street, Lagos Island.
Initially, he was not on salary, but was placed on a monthly salary of N500 after he won a high court case for the chambers. It was his first case as a lawyer and was up against a SAN with three other lawyers in tow.
After two years, he was made the head of chambers because he had great potential. During this time, Allen had become big in real estate, so he had to resign to avoid conflict of interest in his dealings. He floated his law firm alongside several other successful businesses.
He got married in 1993 and the couple is blessed with four children: a girl, and three boys.
Focused on creating jobs for people, he made the decision together with his wife and started the aviation business. He explained that he has never had contact with former President Goodluck Jonathan nor his wife patience Jonathan. The ceo stressed that every other news written about his airline apart from the one he stated is fake news.
Air Peace has 7 airplanes and the airline came into existence through his finances and supports from banks too. He added that he pays the bank daily from sales. It is automatic. For the record, “I own Air Peace 100 percent”.
The ceo named all his 7 aircraft after his family. The executive jet has Michael on it and that is his father’s name. One Domier 328 jet has Helen on it, his late mother; the other Domier 328 has Ojochide on it which is the name of his wife.
The first four B737 have the names of his children namely; Nnenna, Chinonso, Obinna and Ugochukwu.
However, the ceo has recently acquired 2 more Boeing 737 aircraft. One has already arrived. Also, the company has recently sold the two Domier 328 Jets to British Airways.
The newly acquired aircrafts were named after his mum and wife with their full names HELEN EKWUSI ONYEMA and ALICE OJOCHIDE ONYEMA.
The chairman is the only one who does not have a name to an aircraft. He added that the original shareholders are himself, his wife and their children when they attain the required age.
The company had increased its fleet from 7 to 9 planes in less than six months.