Prince Harry and Meghan's Nigeria trip causes chaos after they were photographed with wanted Airline CEO

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently travelled to Nigeria for three days to celebrate the Invictus Games. Their trip is now in the spotlight as a new scandal has unfolded...

Prince Harry Meghan Allen Onyema wanted money laundering
© Karwai Tang /Getty Images
Prince Harry Meghan Allen Onyema wanted money laundering

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle recently spent three days in Nigeria to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Invictus Games. The Duke of Sussex first visited the UK and attended the Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral on May 8.

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During his brief visit, Prince Harry was not able to see his father as it was reported that King Charles had a busy schedule and couldn’t make time for him. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex then arrived in Nigeria on May 10 - Meghan did not join Prince Harry in the UK.

However, Prince Harry and Meghan’s visit to Nigeria, which was highly criticised in general, has caused somewhat of a scandal as the couple were seen with Dr Allen Onyema, founder of Nigerian airline Air Peace, who is a wanted man in the US.

Prince Harry and Meghan photographed with wanted Nigerian man

As reported by Daily Mail, Prince Harry and Meghan, who recently launched her own lifestyle brand, had allegedly travelled for free on Air Peace, courtesy of Dr Allen Onyema, the founder of the Nigerian Airline.

Stanley Olisa, who reportedly works for Air Peace claimed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were given ‘complimentary flights’ by the CEO - Dr Allen Onyema - with ‘everything they wanted’ as the couple are ‘royals’, as per Daily Mail.

Olisa explained:

The planes were chartered. It was just the royals and their entourage. They were not flying with other passengers. We understand that they are royals so we gave them top-tier treatment on board. They were given everything they wanted. It was an exclusive experience.


They were given everything they wanted. [...] The chairman of Air Peace gave Prince Harry and his wonderful wife Meghan free flights to Lagos and back as part of his contribution to the successful hosting of the couple.

As per Daily Mail, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex travelled 664 miles on a 120-seat plane with their entourage, which created roughly 12 tonnes of carbon emissions. This fact alone has caused some backlash for the couple.

Prince Harry and Meghan have been accused of being hypocrites, as back in 2019, when they were still working Royals, they launched Travalyst initiative, an initiative to encourage the tourism industry to be more sustainable. Therefore, the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan have used private planes goes against their initiative.

Moreover, the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan have flown with Air Peace, courtesy of Dr Allen Onyema and were photographed with the man has also caused quite a scandal as the airline CEO is wanted for money laundering in the US.

Why is Dr Allen Onyema wanted in the US?

Dr Allen Onyema is wanted in the US and is facing several charges linked to millions of dollars worth of alleged fraud set down in a federal indictment filed in November 2019.

Dr Onyema is accused of ‘using his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive to launder more than $20 million from Nigeria through US bank accounts' while using ‘false documents’. It is understood that neither Prince Harry nor Meghan are aware of Dr Onyema’s history, and a source close to the couple told Daily Beast that the whole trip was planned and organised by the Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff.

According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office, Dr Onyema has also been charged with bank fraud and ‘committing aggravated identity theft’.

U.S. Attorney Byung J. 'BJay' Pak said, as per the press release:

Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud.

As reported by Newsweek, the airline chairman has allegedly used funds from organisations whose goals are to improve the lives of Nigerian citizens and transferred them to his personal US bank account and has been using the money ‘to pay for personal living expenses, among other purchases.'

For example, Onyema purchased an armored Lexus LX570 ($204,000.00).

Why has this situation caused a scandal for Prince Harry and Meghan?

As per Newsweek, Air Peace is the largest airline in Nigeria and West Africa and offers daily flights from Lagos to Gatwick Airport, in London.

This recent issue has caused a scandal for Prince Harry and Meghan as it is somewhat common for people around the world to try to become close with princes and princesses in order to boost their own reputations and improve their status.

However, these interactions come with a risk for whichever royal the person is meeting. If reports are to be believed, Air Peace has gone out of their way to make the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as comfortable as possible during their three-day trip to Nigeria.

Prince Harry and Meghan pictured next to CEO of Air Peace Dr Allen Onyema (red hat) @flyairpeace/X

The airline company shared photos of Prince Harry and Meghan landing in Lagos with the caption:

We were elated to have on board earlier today the Duke & Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry & Meghan, as well as their entourage.
The royal couple were received in Lagos by top-tier military officials, Air Peace Chairman, Dr Allen Onyema & other government delegates.

The company also watermarked one of the videos of Meghan arriving with Air Peace branding and the final frame shows the brand’s logo and slogan, making the video some form of advert, as reported by Newsweek.

Moreover, this kind of ‘marketing’ may cause problems for the Royal Family as they typically try to avoid the royal brand from being linked to private companies. This strategy, however, has not always worked for the Firm.

Read more:

Meghan Markle opens up about her children Archie and Lilibet while on Nigeria trip

Prince Harry's Invictus Games: The Foundation reveals two shortlisted cities to host 2027 event

King Charles among the Sunday Times rich list with an estimated personal wealth of £610 million

Sources used:

Daily Mail: ‘Revealed: Meghan and Prince Harry were flown around Nigeria for free with 'top-tier treatment' by airline whose chairman is a fugitive wanted in the US over $20M money laundering operation’

Newsweek: ‘Prince Harry and Meghan's Very Royal Scandal’

United States Attorney’s Office: ‘CEO of Nigerian airline indicted for bank fraud and money laundering’

Daily Beast: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle Push Back on Nigerian 'Wanted Fugitive' Claims

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle allegedly invited to Ghana after their ‘successful’ Nigerian trip Prince Harry and Meghan Markle allegedly invited to Ghana after their ‘successful’ Nigerian trip