Allen Onyema, the chairman of Air Peace Limited, was indicted by the United States government on November 19 on charges stemming from an alleged $21 million fraud.
The announcement elicited an instant chain of conspiracy theories specifically targeted at exonerating the accused by stoking fragments of political, religious and ethnic division.
“This is not good for Allen, our bros. But I sense he’s getting himself too much into politics without advice,” Chuma Nzeribe, a former two-term member of the Nigerian House of Representatives from Anambra State, said in a broadcast message on WhatsApp hours after the indictment was made public.
That post was amongst the earliest insinuations that claimed that Mr Onyema’s run in with American authorities was politically-motivated.