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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle address Nigerian fugitive controversy

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s camp has spoken out following reports the couple were greeted in Nigeria by a wanted American fugitive.

On May 18, the Daily Mail reported that the Sussexes toured Nigeria last week for their three-day tour through Air Peace, founded by Dr. Allen Onyema.

Onyema, 59, is the subject of a US federal indictment filed in November 2019. He was charged in a $20 million bank fraud and money laundering case, according to the US Department of Justice.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived in Nigeria on May 10, 2024. AFP via Getty Images
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visit the state governor’s house in Lagos on May 12, 2024. AFP via Getty Images
Prince Harry at the Giant of Africa Foundation during the Dream Big Basketball clinic in Lagos on May 12, 2024. P.A.

Responding to the allegations, a source close to Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, told The Daily Beast that the couple’s trip to Nigeria was organized by Nigeria’s chief of defense staff.

The insider also noted that Air Peace “is the largest airline in Nigeria and West Africa, and offers daily flights from Lagos to the UK’s London Gatwick Airport.”

It remains unclear whether Meghan and Harry were aware of the accusations against Onyema.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry during a charity polo match in Lagos, Nigeria, May 12, 2024. AFP via Getty Images

Sources within the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office previously told the Daily Mail that Harry and Meghan were “visiting Nigeria in a private capacity” and that the British government was not involved in “organizing or facilitating » of their activities.

The Post has contacted representatives for Harry and Meghan for comment.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at a polo event in Lagos. REUTERS
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Lagos, Nigeria, May 12, 2024. REUTERS

Harry and Meghan spent 3 days in Nigeria last week after being invited by the West African country’s chief of defense staff, its most senior officer.

They arrived in Lagos on May 12 and were greeted by a welcoming committee including Onyema, who provided his Nigerian carrier to the exiled royals during their trip.

Prince Harry arrives at a charity polo match in Lagos, Nigeria on May 12, 2024. AFP via Getty Images

In November 2019, the US Department of Justice released a statement that Onyema was “charged with bank fraud and money laundering for transferring more than $20 million from Nigeria through bank accounts in the United States in the part of a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of planes.

Onyema allegedly used the laundered money, in part, to buy a Lexus, a Rolls Royce, a Mercedes and designer items at Prada and Louis Vuitton, CNN reported.

According to the DOJ, more than $44.9 million was allegedly transferred to Onyema’s personal and business bank accounts that he opened in Atlanta from foreign sources between 2010 and 2018.

Prince Harry shaking hands in Nigeria on May 12, 2024. P.A.

Onyema has maintained his innocence, saying in 2019: “Rest assured that I also have my lawyers on this matter and these simple allegations will be refuted. »

“I have never laundered money in my life and I have not committed bank fraud anywhere in the world,” he added. “Every Kobo (Nigerian currency) that I transferred to the United States for the purchase of an aircraft went through the LC regime of the Central Bank of Nigeria and were all used for the same purpose.”

Harry and Meghan traveled to Nigeria after the Duke of Sussex made a solo trip to London to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Invictus Games.

He stayed in a hotel instead of royal accommodation and saw none of his former relatives, including his cancer-stricken father, King Charles III.

New York Post

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