Reason why Prince Harry and Meghan took free flights to Nigeria from 'wanted airline boss' - Hindustan Times
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Reason why Prince Harry and Meghan took free flights to Nigeria from 'wanted airline boss'

ByAditi Srivastava
May 22, 2024 09:49 AM IST

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's free flights in Nigeria spark controversy amid airline owner's legal issues, refuted by source close to Harry.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's recent trip to Nigeria raised a few eyebrows after reports surfaced that their internal flights in the West African country were provided free of charge by an airline whose owner faces serious legal charges in the United States. The Sussexes, basking in the success of their African tour, soon were lambasted for their 'controversial' choice of travel during the three-day stay in the country. However, a source close to Prince Harry has refuted these claims, stating that their travel was arranged by a high-ranking Nigerian official and has nothing to do with the estranged royals' personal preference.

Britain's Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, arrive for the 2024 Royal Salute Polo Challenge to Benefit Sentebale, Friday, April 12, 2024, in Wellington, Fla. Prince Harry, co-founding patron of the Sentebale charity, will play on the Royal Salute Sentebale Team. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)(AP)
Britain's Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, arrive for the 2024 Royal Salute Polo Challenge to Benefit Sentebale, Friday, April 12, 2024, in Wellington, Fla. Prince Harry, co-founding patron of the Sentebale charity, will play on the Royal Salute Sentebale Team. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)(AP)

Harry’s free Nigerian flight ‘was not his choice’

Following the return of the Sussexes to California after touring the African country as part of their Invictus commitments, multiple reports cited how The Duke and Duchess were flown in and around the country on a private jet owned by Dr. Allen Onyema. Known for operating one of the biggest airlines in Nigeria, Air Peace, the boss is ‘wanted’ in the US, with allegations of fraud involving millions of dollars looming over him.

Also read: Prince Harry ‘ready to forgive’ Royal family but ‘tables have turned’ as King and William are…

Dr. Allen Onyema is “the subject of a US federal indictment filed back in November 2019.”Post cited the statement of the US Department of Justice, “Charged with bank fraud and money laundering for moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of aeroplanes.”

Denying any wrongdoings, a source close to Prince Harry has challenged the reports about their free flights in a report published by Daily Beast. They claim the internal travel within Nigeria was arranged by the Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff, a high-ranking military official. For unversed, Harry and Meghan were reportedly invited to the country by Christopher Musa, the West African country’s top-ranking officer. Furthermore, the source emphasises that Air Peace, the airline in question, is a major carrier with regular flights connecting Nigeria to London, suggesting it was a logical choice for travel within the region.

Also read: Prince Harry and Meghan enjoy ‘wine-filled’ double date with A-list couple to celebrate 6th anniversary

Harry ditches Royal Wedding as William plays usher

After their return to the US, the guest list for the wedding of Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, stirred up a lot of attention. Reportedly, neither Harry nor Meghan were included in the list despite their close bond with Hugh. Meanwhile, William is set to play a key role in ushering in the marriage next month. Some experts suggest that Harry willingly declined the invitation to attend Archie’s godfather's wedding, as he doesn’t want the royal rift to overshadow such a happy event. On the other hand, King Charles and Kate are believed to have politely declined the invitation due to their respective cancer treatments.

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