Connect with us


Nigerian newspapers headlines Saturday morning



N168bn frauds: Hushpuppi faces 20 years in US prison [Punch]

The United States Department of Justice has said Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, faces 20 years’ imprisonment for suspected money laundering from his various cybercrime schemes worth $435m (N168bn).

According to a statement by the US DOJ on Friday, Abbas, 37, arrived in Chicago Thursday evening after being “expelled from Dubai”.

The suspect was said to have made his initial US court appearance on Friday morning in Chicago and he was expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in the coming weeks.

Abbas, alongside his accomplices, including Olalekan Ponle (aka Woodberry), was arrested by officials of the Dubai Police and Interpol on June 10 for a series of crimes like money laundering, fraud, hacking of websites and accounts, impersonation and banking fraud.

Police said the suspects scammed over 1.9 million people in a fraudulent scheme worth $435m (N168bn). Thirteen luxury cars, estimated at N3.7bn; 21 laptops, 47 smartphones, 15 storage devices, and five hard disks containing data were recovered from the house where they were arrested.

Hushpuppi was subsequently handed over to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday and extradited to the US, where he faces criminal charges alleging he conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a US law firm, a foreign bank and an English Premier League soccer club.

The US DOJ said a criminal complaint was filed on June 25 by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles after FBI’s investigation showed that Abbas financed this opulent lifestyle through crime and that he was one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitated computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.

In the DOJ statement, US Attorney Nick Hanna, said in 2019 alone, the FBI recorded $1.7bn in losses by companies and individuals victimised through BECs, “the type of scheme Mr Abbas is charged with conducting from abroad.”

In the affidavit filed against Abbas, it was alleged that he defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of approximately $922,857 in October 2019.

The affidavit also alleged that Abbas conspired to launder funds stolen in a $14.7m cyber heist from a foreign financial institution in February, 2019, in which the stolen money was sent to bank accounts around the world.

The statement read in part, “Abbas allegedly provided a co-conspirator with two bank accounts in Europe that Abbas anticipated each would receive €5m (about $5.6m) of the fraudulently obtained funds.

“Abbas and others further conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100m (approximately $124m) from an English Premier League soccer club, the complaint alleges.”

The US DOJ stated, “If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.”

The statement added that Hushpuppi was being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys Anil J. Antony and Joseph B. Woodring of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section.


COVID-19: Why I can’t hand over to my deputy –Akeredolu [Punch]

Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, on Friday said the state administration will not be affected by his current health status.

The governor, who recently disclosed that he tested positive for COVID-19, has been on self-isolation and directed his commissioners and other aides to go for test to ascertain their statuses.

Speaking with journalists in Akure, the state capital, through the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, the governor said though he is self- isolation, he is still performing his official duties.

Asked if the governor would hand over to the Deputy Governor, Mr Agboola Ajayi, the commissioner said there was no such plan, stressing that Akeredolu is still agile.

He said, “Though Mr Governor is on self-isolation, the government is not grounded. He is working from isolation, so the state cannot be grounded.

“The governor cannot hand over to the deputy, Agboola Ajayi. The deputy has left governance, though he is still in government. So, you cannot hand over to such a person.

“We are not considering that; no one will advise the governor to hand over to the deputy. Mr Governor is still strong enough to work.”


Leadership crisis: APC to get new chairman, NWC November [Punch]

  • Buni-led caretaker to pacify more party leaders after meeting Tinubu
  • Panel to review Banire committee report on constitution amendments
  • Party may okay indirect primary for Ondo, vows to win Edo gov election

Barring any last- minute changes, the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress may hold the party’s national convention in November, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.

The national convention, it was also learnt, would witness the emergence of a new national chairman and other members of the National Working Committee, while ward, local government and state congresses would hold before the convention.

The National Executive Committee of the party had at a June 25 meeting presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa dissolved the NWC.

Others in attendance at the meeting were Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, many state governors elected on the platform of the party and other stakeholders.

Prior to the NEC meeting, the party had been enmeshed in leadership crisis, including several court cases and different persons laying claim to the leadership of the party after the Court of Appeal ratified the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman.

The National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had in his statement after the NEC meeting sacked the NWC said one would need a spreadsheet to keep tab of the many court cases concerning the party. The leadership crisis had led to the dissolution of the NWC by the NEC.

But to resolve the leadership crisis and start the process of rebuilding the party, the NEC set up the caretaker committee, with members drawn from the different geopolitical zones, to manage the affairs of the party and conduct a national convention. The committee is headed by the governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, who once served as the national secretary of the party.

Other members are the Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola; Governor Sani Bello of Niger State; Prof Tahir Mamman; Ken Nnamani; Dr James Lalu; David Lyon; Akinyemi Olaide; Stella Okorete; James Lalu; Ismail Ahmed; Abba Ari, Senator Abubakar Yusuf and Senator Akpan Udoedehe, who is the secretary.

Meanwhile, in a fresh development, the caretaker committee, which had members from the six geopolitical zones, is said to have settled for November, after the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, to hold the convention so the substantive leaders of the party could be elected.

A highly-placed member of NEC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said, “Unless something changes, a new national chairman and members of the National Working Committee will emerge in November. Right now, what is paramount is the need for our party to secure Edo and Ondo states and stop the haemorrhage within.”


Edo Gov’ship: APC, PDP In Verbal War Over Alleged Plot To Rig Poll [Leadership]

The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition party, Peoples Democratic

Party (PDP), yesterday engaged in a verbal scuffle over allegations of plot to rig the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.

The two major political parties accused each other of plotting to rig the forthcoming poll in which Governor Godwin Obaseki is the PDP

candidate, while Pastor Osagie IzeIyamu is the APC candidate for the election. PDP fired the first salvo yesterday when it alleged plots by APC to use the trio of Governors Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to derail the governorship election.

The national publicity secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement, claimed that his party and the people of Edo State were already aware that the trio were selected by the APC to lead its campaign so as to “force a combined formula of Kano and Kogi electoral violence as well as Imo state mandate robbery to subvert the will of the people of Edo state in the governorship election.”

The opposition party further said it was pathetic that the APC only has a person “who has become a butt of international shame after being seen in a viral video stuffing his robe with gratification, in foreign currency, to serve as chairman of its Edo state governorship campaign council. The statement noted:

“It is equally contemptuous that such a person is being deputized by another individual, who has become a metaphor of electoral manipulation, after being so docketed by a judgment of the Supreme Court. “It is also disgusting that a governor who deployed a Police helicopter to scare voters on election day has been mandated to deploy thugs and dangerous weapons through the northern borderlines of Edo State ahead of the election.

“Part of APC’s plot is to import election mercenaries as observers to attempt to scare the people of Edo state, suppress them and steal their mandate. “It is however not surprising that such is the drift of the APC campaign, given that it has neither messages nor plans for the people of Edo state, especially, with a candidate like Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who has also been declared by his former APC National  Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, as a person of questionable character, a fake pastor, treasury looter, rusticated student who is only fit for “night meetings” and should never be entrusted with the office of the governor of Edo state.

“Whereas our candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, enjoys the overwhelming support of the Edo people due to his enthusing track record of personal character and performance in office for which even APC leaders have praises for him, the APC candidate has nothing to present to the people.

“With its defective nomination process, an ailing campaign council and a dented governorship candidate, it is clear that the APC is not preparing for issue-based and people oriented campaign, but for process manipulation and ballot robbery. “Our party, in the strongest terms, cautions the APC to note that the “Gandollar,” “Supreme Court Governor” and “helicopter shooting” formulas cannot work in this election as the people of Edo state have never been intimidated, suppressed, subjugated or overpowered by external political influences.

“The APC should also note that the people of Edo state will spare nothing within the law in firmly resisting any attempt by anybody to import violence or try to manipulate the Edo election in any way,” PDP noted. But hitting back at the PDP, the governing APC knocked the opposition party for questioning the integrity of its national campaign council for the Edo State governorship election, even as it urged the opposition party to concentrate on its “deadbeat campaigns”.

The APC further said it was not interested in rolling in the mud with the PDP, adding that it is now obvious that the party is up to its usual, diversionary, baseless and theatrical allegations. The ruling party however added that Edo State was not dubbed the heartbeat of the nation for nothing, insisting that the Edo electorate is sensible, sophisticated and progressive.

In a statement by its deputy national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena, APC said, “We understand the PDP is intimidated by the quality, depth and political sagacity of the APC National Campaign Council deployed by the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee to organise a formidable campaign structure to ensure success of the APC and our candidate, Pastor Osagie IzeIyamu during the election.

“The APC has no interest in rolling in the mud with the PDP and engaging them in their senseless and drunken tirade. “The focus of the APC is to display to the Edo electorate our propeople credentials, infrastructure/ development track records, social investments, wealth creation initiatives among others which is being replicated across APC states.

“APC is a party that fiercely advocates, practices and defends the principle of ‘One person, one vote’. Come September 19 every valid vote must count. “We urge the PDP to concentrate on their deadbeat and empty campaign instead of the comic it has turned itself to. Edo is proudly an APC state”.


Post COVID-19:  FAAN Rolls Out New Guidelines To Protect Air Travellers [Leadership]

With the lifting of the lockdown on domestic flights in Nigeria, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has released new procedural guidelines to protect air travellers and other airport users from contacting COVID-19 while travelling. This was made known by the FAAN spokesperson, Henrietta Yakubu.

She said the new standard operating procedure (SOP) also tagged the “New normal”, was aimed at protecting all stakeholders and preventing further spread of the COVID-19 virus. Yakubu explained that in line with the new normal departing passengers must comply with the following guidelines: All passengers must arrive the airport properly kitted with their facemasks and they must also ensure a minimum of 1.5m physical distancing; aviation medical/port health personnel would screen each passenger and ensure the use of facemasks.

“Those travelling with pets must get necessary clearance from Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service; all passengers’ luggage would be disinfected before entry into the departure halls; passengers are required to wash their hands as often as possible, hand sanitizer would be provided for passengers before entrance, at the waiting halls/ lounges and pre-boarding gates; all footwear would be disinfected/sanitized by foot mats placed at all entrances to the terminal building, amongst others.

“For arriving passengers, the following guidelines must be adhered to; on disembarking from the aircraft, passengers would observe physical distancing as they board the cobuses (hand sanitizer would be provided in the buses); physical distancing protocols must be observed at the baggage claim area, where hand sanitizer would also provided.

Disinfected trolleys would be made available for passengers and all COVID-19 protocols must be observed while undergoing customs check. “Passengers would exit the halls and head straight to the car park for pick up, If you must speak to anyone around, please speak to a properly tagged Aviation Security (AVSEC) officer, physical distancing would be maintained while waiting to be screened by personnel of port health services, amongst others.

“In addition to the above guidelines, passengers are required to observe social distancing and make use of the floor markings at the security screening area. They must also comply with all other security guidelines as laid down by officials of the Aviation Security (AVSEC) department,” she added.


NAF Airstrike Hits Terrorists Meeting Venue In Borno [Leadership]

The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has in a precision airstrike obliterated a Boko Haram Terrorists’ (BHTs’) meeting venue, along with other structures, and neutralised several of their fighters at Mainyakare on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State.

The coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, said the air interdiction mission was conducted on July 2, 2020, to mark the launch of subsidiary Operation LONG REACH II, after series of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions had established that a prominent building in the middle of the settlement was being used as a meeting venue, where the terrorists plan and launch attacks as well as house some of their fighters.

He said following the confirmation, the ATF dispatched a force package of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets to attack the location. “The first jet in the first wave of attack recorded a precision bomb strike on the designated target, completely destroying it.

Other compounds, which were also designated for destruction were taken out by subsequent passes of the NAF fighter jets. Many of the BHTs were also killed as a result of the air strikes,” he stated. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who is in Maiduguri to personally oversee the conduct of Operation LONG REACH II commended the ATF for their dedication, dexterity and professionalism.


No power can ban almajiri in Nigeria –Sheik Usman Bauchi [Sun]

  • Why Boko Haram can’t end now

Sheik Dahiru Usman Bauchi is a controversial Islamic Scholar and leader of almajiri in Nigeria. He is among the leaders of the Islamic Sufi group known as the Tijaniyyah in Nigeria. In this interview with PAUL ORUDE in Bauchi, the fiery cleric explained why Boko Haram and their violent attacks won’t end anytime soon. He said no governor, government or group has the power to ban the almajiri system and the free movement of almajirai to any part of the country.

“The constitution of the country gives us the freedom to practice our religion the way we want it. Our biggest religion is the Quran. Since the Quran has given them (those in power)  laws that they have refused to abide with, what right do they have to give instructions or law to the Quran? Based on that, we will not accept the ban on Almajiri by northern governors. Our right to freedom of worship is being violated. We will not accept violation of our right to go to any part of the country to practice our religion”, the nonagenarian Islamic scholar vowed.

As a notable and respected Islamic leader, why are you opposed to the abolition of the Almajiri system by Northern governors?

The reason is because there is a government and the government operates by a constitution. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gives every citizen the right to movement, the right to practice their religion. These students (Almajirai) are Nigerians.

Packing our people like animals and moving them from one place to the other, we will not accept. As Nigerians, we have a right to practice our religion. The Quran is the basis of our religion. We will not accept any violation of our rights. Every Nigerian has a right to go to America to study, he has a right to go to the United Kingdom to carry out western education, to go anywhere to read western education but

Nigerians have no right to go to another community to study the Quran?

We will not accept the ban on Almajiri. We have the right to go anywhere in the world to read the Quran. This is a right given to us by God. The constitution of the country gives us the freedom to practice our religion the way we want it. Our biggest religion is the Quran. Since the Quran has given them (those in power)  laws that they have refused to abide with, what right do they have to give instructions or law to the Quran? Based on that, we will not accept the ban on Almajiri by northern governors. Our right to freedom of worship is being violated. We will not accept violation of our right to go to any part of the country to practice our religion.

Did the governors seek your view before their decision or did you reach out to any of them to stop the decision?

They did not consult me before abolishing the almajiri system. No. They didn’t. The governors should go and stop others in other countries from reading the Quran, not in Nigeria. The governors are free to go to other countries to make laws that would infringe on the rights of people, rights that are inalienable and given to every man, not only Nigerians. Like I mentioned earlier, Nigerians have the rights to go to other parts of the country to seek knowledge. Any governor that wants to ban almajiri should go to other country to do that because as for us in Nigeria, the law gives us the right to practice our religion without any fear or hindrance, to move freely to other places within or outside the country to practice our religion. We will not accept what the governors are doing.

The governors said Almajiri system breeds insecurity and poverty in the north, do you agree with them?

Is it the recitation of the Quran that breeds poverty or Insecurity?

Or hunger? These are the thinking of atheists. I am asking the world, does the Quaranic education bring hunger or poverty? These are the thinking of infidels and those with misconceptions about religion. Are they the only group that make the country?

How will the abolition of Almajiri affect Quranic teaching among northern youths?

The youths are the ones that read the Quran more. Will the Quran read itself? The almajiri is the pupil that reads the Quran and if you stop him from practicing it, you have infringed on his freedom of worship.

What’s your view on the security problems facing the country? Do you agree it’s a religious or socio-economic problem?

Which problems are you talking about? Mention them.

Problems of insecurity, poverty, violent conflicts like Boko Haram….

Insecurity and Boko Haram are caused by Izala sects. Izala sects are Boko Haram. Boko Haram members are not hidden. They are in three levels. They hate western education. In western education, we have three stages, lower, middle and upper like the university. Izala sects are the Boko Haram. Those that converge and abuse other worshippers.

They believe Muslims that accept western education are infidels. That Muslims that wear amulets are infidels or not true Muslims. Their leaders abuse other Islamic sects’ mode of worship.  If these people are a threat to others why did we leave them? Let us fight them, let’s carry out a Jihad and if they kill us, we will become martyrs.  These is what Boko Haram is doing. Boko Haram members are practicing what the Izala sect is preaching; the first, second and third level. They are the scholars to Boko Haram. We have said it before. There was an Izala leader Jafar Adamu and Albani Abba Umar Hotoro, they are Izala leaders. What the Boko Haram sect is doing is what they preach. Just that the Izala people are afraid to come out openly because of fear.They are in three levels like I said: the first stage that abuses, the second level that carries arms and the third level that are Boko Haram.

If you meet President Buhari today, what will you tell him about his government and the country?

What is my interest with meeting President Buhari? I am just an almajiri, I am not a politician. If he looks for me, I will respond as a law abiding citizen. If he doesn’t look for me, we are all living our lives separately, he as President and I as a citizen. I am not the one to show him the direction to follow as far as leading the country is concerned. He has advisers.

Is there anything respected Islamic scholars like you can still do to bring Boko Haram leaders to a negotiation table with the federal government?

Negotiation will not be possible because Boko Haram will not end anytime soon. The Izala sect has sworn that Boko Haram will not end. Jafar Adamu, Albani of Zaria said it in one of his sermons.

Why did you announce a different sallah day beside the one by the Sultan of Sokoto?

Religion stands on its own and not under anybody. I have two books; one is the Quran and the second is the lifestyle of Prophet Mohammed SAW.

These are the two pillars of Islam, Islam is anchored on this pillar, not on the leadership of any man. What really happened that led to announcement of two sallah days is because the leader of the Muslims in Nigeria, His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto did not observe well the sighting of the moon.  We have been mandated by the religion on how to observe the month of Ramadan. If the month before Ramadan, that is month of Shanbana, reaches full 30 days, then Ramadan starts. If the month before Ramadan has 29 days, if two people sights the moon, then the month of Ramadan has started, not to talk of if five people sight the moon. God that instructed us to observe these months, mandated that even if it is two people that sight the moon, the Ramadan can start. What happened was that on the 29th day, a lot of people sighted the moon and there were some that were sent to Sokoto but could not meet with the Sultan, who is the head of Muslims in Nigeria.

Do you agree with northern governors that foreign herdsmen should not be allowed to enter Nigeria again?

If everybody follows his route, if herdsmen follow their route and farmers theirs, the herdsmen do not enter peoples’ farms and farmers would not cultivate land meant for grazing, everybody will be on the right path. But the problem is that the grazing routes have been turned to farmland while farms have been turned to grazing land. This is what causes the clashes. The government failed to address the problem. It is the herdsmen in the country that are having problems with farmers, not herdsmen from outside the country. Government has responsibility to address the problem.


Alleged fraud: US, UK seek extradition of 10 Nigerian businessmen [Sun]

■ Austria, Poland, Brazil, Ukraine, Niger also write for Mutual Legal Assistance

At least 10 Nigerian businessmen and companies have been declared wanted by no fewer than seven countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Austria following their indictment for alleged multi-million dollars fraud.

As a result, the US, UK, Austria,  Poland,  Ukraine,  Brazil and Niger Republic have between March and June written the Nigerian government through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr.  Abubakar Malami, SAN, seeking Mutual Legal Assistance, MLA for the extradition of the indicted businessmen.

A source at the AGF office in Abuja told Saturday Sun that Malami had since directed the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, to investigate the indicted Nigerians for possible prosecution and extradition to face charges in the affected countries.

According to the source, two of the requests came from the United States, seeking the arrest of Messrs Nsima Idem and Richard Legemah, accused of defrauding a New Jersey based religious organization of $200,000. The request was subsequently directed to the EFCC on March 18, 2020 in a letter referenced  CAU/MLA/023/2020.

Another of such requests from the US pertains to the investigation of an individual, whose alias was given as Thompson Galbraith.  It came in another letter referenced CAU/MLA/022/2020, and also dated March 18, 2020, from the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to the EFCC.

In its own MLA request, the United  Kingdom is seeking the investigation and prosecution of two individuals,  Anthony Omo Okoh and Sandra Okoh. The request, for their arrest was communicated to the EFCC through the AGF via a letter dated June 17, 2020 with reference number CAU/MLA/033/20.

The third country seeking MLA from Nigeria which the AGF referred to the EFCC for  prompt response, in the last three months, is Austria. The Ministry source told Saturday Sun that the MLA pertains to the execution of a disclosure of information on bank accounts and other transactions and seizures. The request was communicated to the EFCC through a letter marked CAU/MLA/193/18 sent from the AGF’s office.

The Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau  also made an MLA request in criminal proceedings from Nigeria on March 18, 2020.  The request was routed through the AGF’s office to the EFCC in a letter referenced CAU/MLA/016/20.

The same request was made by Poland on June 8, 2020 concerning Pitbull West Company. The source gave the reference number of the letter as CAU/MLA/031/20.

The sixth request for MLA came from Brazil on March 18, 2020. It borders on information on Chijoke Andrew Okonkwo who is wanted in Brazil for some criminal matters. The request was communicated to the EFCC through the AGF in a letter referenced CAU/MLA/77/19 while another request came from Niger Republic concerning the extradition of Hima Aboubakar.  The letter dated 18 June, 2020, also emanated from the AGF’s office to the EFCC and it was referenced CAU/Ext/222/18.

The source disclosed that the EFCC has since begun tracing the indicted Nigerian businessmen with a view to bringing them before the court for prosecution and extradition orders. The official further stated that the AGF memos on the MLA requests to the EFCC may not represent recent insinuations of possible rift between Malami and Magu. Dismissing media reports of deep animosity between the two top officials driving the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption war, the source further claimed that the AGF has often commended Magu’s strides at the EFCC.


No zoning for Anambra 2021 guber –PDP [Sun]

■ Says days of merchandising with party over

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has restated its resolve not to zone the party’s governorship ticket in next year’s election in Anambra State.

The party also said that it will not hesitate to sanction any recalcitrant members stoking crisis in the Anambra State chapter. National Vice Chairman of the party, South East, Chief Austin Umahi stated this at the party’s emergency zonal working committee meeting held in Enugu, on Friday.

He said: “While reiterating that the PDP is not zoning the governorship, we wish to commend all the gubernatorial aspirants of our party in Anambra State, for their mature politicking; we bring them the assurances of our National Chairman, of a level playing field and the conduct of most transparent primaries”.

Umahi declared that no one was above the party’s constitution, stressing that the zonal leadership will invoke its powers to deal with those who dragged the party to court and had not withdrawn the suits.

The party leader who stated that the meeting was called solely to address the brewing crisis in the Anambra State chapter of the party, called on one Mr. Chukwudi Umeaba and his o-travellers alleged to have opened a parallel party office in Awka, to immediately shut it.

He was emphatic that the ultimate goal of the PDP was to reclaim the governorship seat of the state, adding that the party would expel any member standing on its way to realise the mission.

An eight-point communiqué signed by Umahi and the zonal secretary, Casmir Ugwu, said that Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu remained the authentic and recognised State Chairman of the party.

It however, assured all the plaintiffs that their complaints shall be adequately and timeously addressed by the party leadership in the south east even as they warned fifth columnists within the party to toe the path of honour and join their paymasters in other political parties or face expulsion from the PDP.

“We shall be prepared to enforce all disciplinary processes to smoke them out. The days of merchandising with Anambra PDP is over and done with because we are determined to take the party to the winning side,” they stated.