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Security: FG boosts Kaduna-Abuja route with patrol vehicles

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Federal Ministry of Transportation, on Thursday, handed over six patrol vehicles with scanners to Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to boost security on Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani, while handing over the vehicles, said it would aid movements on the route, especially in times of emergency.
”The ministry decided to procure these vehicles to support NRC and the police working on that route to be able to effectively police the axis.
”It will further support the corporation on the security architecture of Idu -Abuja rail track.
”The security apparatus we have for most of the rail track have a number of components.
”We have the local people who are patrolling. We also have the NSCDC personnel, the police corps of NRC. We have locations where stations are and where we need the security men to be able to move from one location to the other.
”This is in addition to the fact that we are also looking at surveillance apparatus and fibre optic equipment. So for movement of security personnel, we need these vehicles,” she said.
Ajani said that in case of emergency calls, the security personnel should be able to move from one point to the other. This is part of their responsibilities to keep the place safe.
She noted that the vehicles passed through proper procurement process before being handed to the corporation.
On the sensors being planned to be installed on the route, the permanent secretary explained that they were still in the procurement stage.
She said: ”We have gotten approval from NITDA. So, when the procurement process is concluded, they will be installed.
Receiving the vehicles, Chairman of NRC, Alhaji Ibrahim Alhassan, said that the development was a wake-up call on other institutions of government to support the corporation.
”At NRC, we cannot do it alone. We need the support of other institutions of government. Our operations are more or less social security. Without this, most people will not be able to travel.
”When we had that unfortunate incident and we could not run for two days, many people could not travel; they preferred to stay where they were until the trains were back.
”So, the ministry has done very well and we really appreciate it. It is an indication that we are not alone and that we are being supported,” he said.
Alhassan said that tThe vehicles and scanners would be deployed as backup to whatever the corporation needed to do.
”We cannot have security people sitting down in one place. They need to be mobile. We will put the vehicles in the various security stations so that we can do necessary monitoring and patrol.
”The scanners will also provide additional security so that we will ensure that our passengers are safe,” he said.
Also speaking, Managing Director of NRS, Mr Fidet Okhiria, said that the vehicles would go a long way in assisting the corporation in its security arrangement.
He commended the ministry for the gesture, adding: “it shows that we are rising up to the challenges we are facing in terms of security.” (NAN)

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Who will be Biden’s pick for Supreme Court? Childs, Kruger, Jackson?

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Speculations have begun in the United State about the African American woman who will meet President Joe Biden’s criteria for Supreme Court nomination.

Biden has made a commitment to nominate the first black woman into the apex court and the opportunity has now arisen with the planned retirement of 83 year-old Justice Stephen Breyer.

Nominating a black woman will be a historic first, which Biden said is long “long overdue.”

One of the women in contention for the nomination is Ketanji Brown Jackson, a former Breyer law clerk confirmed by the Senate last June to serve on an influential U.S. appellate court.

There is Leondra Kruger, who serves on the California Supreme Court.

Another potential contender is Michelle Childs, a federal district court judge in South Carolina who Biden already has nominated to the U.S. appeals court in Washington.

Biden, who won the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination in large part because of strong support from Black voters, noted that he committed during that campaign to name a Black woman to a lifetime post on the high court and would keep his promise.

“Our process is going to be rigorous. I will select a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency,” Biden said, calling the selection of a Supreme Court justice one of a president’s most serious constitutional responsibilities.

“While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision except one: the person I nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity – and that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It’s long overdue, in my view,” Biden said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden believes that being a sitting judge is not prerequisite for his nominee and that whether a candidate could draw support from Republicans is not an influencing factor.

Biden said he wants the Senate, which his fellow Democrats control by a razor-thin margin, to “move promptly” once he chooses his nominee.

Democrats can confirm a nominee without a single Republican vote because Republicans in 2017 changed the Senate rules to no longer require 60 of the 100 senators to allow Supreme Court nominations to move forward.

While Breyer’s retirement after 27 years gives Biden his first chance to fill a vacancy on the nine-member court, it will not change its ideological balance.

The court’s 6-3 conservative majority has shown a growing willingness to reshape the law on contentious issues including abortion and gun rights. Biden’s Republican predecessor Donald Trump appointed three justices during his single four-year term in office.

Breyer, the court’s oldest justice, often found himself in dissent on a court that has moved ever rightward. He spoke at the White House of the importance of a diverse nation like the United States resolving its deep divisions by adhering to the rule of law.

“People have come to accept this Constitution and they have come to accept the importance of the rule of law,” Breyer said, holding a copy of the 18th century foundational document in his hand.

Biden appeared with Breyer, whom he has known since the 1970s, at the White House after the 83-year-old justice formally announced his retirement in a letter to the president.

Breyer wrote that he plans to depart at the conclusion of the court’s current term, typically at the end of June, assuming his successor has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

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Our helicopter did not crash – Police

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By Christopher Oji 

The Nigeria Police high command has denied reports making rounds that one of its Bell 429 5NMDA helicopters flying from Abuja to Bauchi on Wednesday crash-landed. 

In a statement by Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CP Frank Mba, the police explained that the helicopter was involved in a controlled safe landing at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi.

“The aircraft did not crash, as being reported in some sections of the media, and none of the occupants sustained any injury whatsoever.

“All six on board, including the pilot and co-pilot, are in good condition.  

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“Similarly, the aircraft, which was flown by one of the best police pilots, was professionally safe-landed with minor damage on the rear rotor as a result of obstacle at the landing spot.

The incident occurred around 7:30pm (local time). The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has commended the Police Air Wing for their professionalism in safe-landing the aircraft and averting any serious air mishap.

He further noted that the Nigeria Police Air Wing, with a fleet of one fixed-wing aircraft, a Citation jet and 13 helicopters, has got a strong history of air safety since its establishment in the year 1972.”

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Police arrest wife, 2 others for murder of Lagos hotelier 

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By Christopher Oji 

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested three persons in connection with the death of a popular hotelier, Mr. Femi Bakare Alaba, who was allegedly murdered last Monday by his wife. 

The deceased’s family had  returned from a trip from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, before he was murdered in their house at 9, Finance Road, Maplewood Estate, Oko- Oba, Agege, Lagos.

The family had accused Alaba’s wife of using a hot pressing iron to burn the man while he was sleeping.

The police said three persons, including his wife, have been arrested in connection with the murder and that the  body has been deposited at Yaba Mainland Hospital’s morgue for autopsy. 

According to Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, “The deceased’s wife and three others have been arrested in connection with the suspected murder case. Meanwhile, the case has since been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence  Department, Panti, for diligent investigation on the order of the Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi.”

A police source at the homicide section of  SCIID, said the woman was not cooperating with the police as she has refused to tell investigators on what really happened to her husband.

The police source who said there was more to the murder beyond the allegation that the deceased impregnated another woman as his family were alleging that their brother was questioning the paternity of two of her two out of their three kids.

“ We are investigating and there are many things we are trying to unrevel but they are not what I can tell you till further notice. For now, we are having his wife and two others who though are not cooperating with us,but they will soon open up”, the senior police officer said.

When  Alaba and his wife returned recently from a trip from Dubai,their house was a Mecca of sort as family members and friends thronged the premises to welcome them back home

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No one could envisage that danger loomed. In fact, if anyone had told them that the life of one of the couple would be abruptly cut short, the person would have been dismissed and tagged a prophet of doom. 

Those who visited them when they returned were not disappointed as they were well entertained and got one gift or the other .

The family was described as philanthropists as well as peace lovers that they were the envy of residents. The couple was loved and admired by all.

But in the morning of January 24, things took a dramatic turn to the amazement of all. The owner of the popular Bama Hotel was murdered by his wife of eight years. 

According to a source, Bama, as he is fondly called was allegedly roasted to death with a hot iron by his wife.

A resident, who identified himself simply as Emmanuel, said: “My brother, we are still in shock because the unexpected really happened. We were told that Bama’s wife discovered that another woman was pregnant for her husband and was embittered.

“She waited for the man to sleep and used hot iron to press his body and the man died out of severe pain. We are still baffled and surprised how the woman who we saw as easy-going would have the mind to kill her husband in his sleep.

“The deceased was the owner of Bama Hotel and Suite. He was a good man that we respected him a lot. The couple has three kids and they just returned from Dubai before the incident occurred.”

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