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Amaechi claims Nigeria is in dire need of drones, helicopters to tackle insecurity on rail track

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Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said Monday’s terrorist attack on the Abuja-Kaduna rail route would have been averted if there were drones and helicopters to carry out surveillance along the corridor.

This is even as the Minister said the Ministry of Transportation has made presentation to the federal government for the procurement of security equipment, regretting however that the Ministry was yet to get approval.

Amaechi stated these on Tuesday while leading top officials of the Ministry on an inspection of the scene of the incident.

Addressing newsmen, a visibly worried Amaechi said, “we need helicopters and drones. We are thinking about the possibility of employing natives until we get that equipment.

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“We have not been able to install security sensors because the procurement process is a bit difficult. It is typical of Nigerians.

“The process is tedious, the approval is also tedious. We have not been able to get the approval that will lead to the purchase of those items.

“If those items were here, drones alone will tell you that there are people around the rail tracks. There are equipment that picks sensors if you touch the track, but unfortunately, the process has not been able to get us that approval for us to import those items.

“The cameras in the train cannot pick what is happening outside. What you need is a camera that shows 100 metres away from the train. We have done all we need to do in the Ministry of Transportation and we have forwarded it to them for approval but we have not gotten approval.

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“The equipment we lost will cost about N3bn and we are about to place order for the ones in Lagos.”

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Amaechi warned of the dangers to come if security devices were not urgently procured to save lives on rail routes across the country.

“Even if they get us approval, it will take some months to acquire them from overseas, to install them. We need to do that to enable us see from Kaduna-Abuja, Itakpe-Warri, and from Lagos-Ibadan what is going on so that we don’t continue to lose lives because lives are important. If we had gotten the approval, we would have saved the N3billion and saved lives.”

While affirming the death of eight persons as a result of the attack, Amaechi said it is difficult to tell the number of missing persons, saying, “we don’t have all the figures of missing persons, kidnapped and those injured at the moment.

“The numbers we have is that there are eight casualties. There are 25 persons in the hospital and the total number of passengers are 398. So, we have to wait. The security agency, the Kaduna state government, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation are all trying to make contact with those on the manifest.

“There are few persons who are not on the manifest like the staff of the NRC, staff of the cleaning contractor. They are not on the manifest and we may not be able to completely account for them but for those on the manifest, calls are being made to reach them.”

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Coming short of asking citizens to understand the situation, the Minister added, “I am devastated and I honestly don’t know what to tell Nigerians anymore.”

Also speaking, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidel Okhiria said
“it is a very sad and unfortunate situation we have at our hands. Right from time when these things started happening on the roads, the only succour our people had were the trains.”

He urged the people to help the NRC identify criminals bent on wrecking havoc on innocent Nigerians using rail transportation system as their preferred mode of transport.

Following Monday night’s attack on a Kaduna-bound train by terrorists which left about eight people dead, the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC has suspended services on the Abuja-Kaduna train corridor till further notice.

In a post on its official Twitter handle, @official_NRC, the corporation noted: “Dear passengers, due to unforeseen circumstances, train operation along the Abuja-Kaduna route has been temporarily suspended. Further communication would be given in due course.”

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Crime

Again, court rejects Abba Kyari’s fresh bail request

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Again, court rejects Abba Kyari’s fresh bail request

Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, dismissed a fresh bail application the detained Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, filed to be released on bail, pending the conclusion of his trial.

Kyari is facing an eight-count charge bordering on drug trafficking brought against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

Also read: Appeal Court dismisses suspended DCP Abba Kyari’s bail application

The NDLEA alleged that Kyari and his men, sometime between January 19 and 25, 2022, at the office of Inspector-General of Police, IRT, Abuja, in connivance with one ASP John Umoru (now at large), ACP Sunday J. Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu, unlawfully tampered with 21.25kilograms worth of cocaine that they seized from the two convicted drug traffickers- Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwane- even as it also accused them of dealing in cocaine worth 17.55kg.

The charge stated that this is contrary to section 14(b) of the NDLEA Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the defendants

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The court had, in two previous rulings, denied the defendant’s bail and ordered their remand at Kuje prison.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja also refused Kyari’s request for bail.

At today’s sitting, Justice Nwite, in a ruling, held that Kyari’s application lacked merit.

He stated that Kyari failed to establish any exceptional circumstance that would warrant the exercise of judicial discretion in his favour.

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The trial judge said that the court had earlier dismissed a similar bail application that was brought before it and ordered an accelerated hearing of the case.

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He said no evidence was shown to convince the court why it should depart from its earlier ruling.

Justice Nwite rejected Kyari’s application and approved that the NLDEA, proceed with the prosecution of both Kyari and his co-defendants in the matter.

Recall that the court last month granted Kyari temporary bail from prison custody to enable him to participate in his mother’s final burial rites.

The court granted him N50m bail for two weeks and two sureties in like sum.

Previously, Kyari had filed an application to challenge the charge brought against him which the court on March 22, 2023, dismissed.

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Kyari, through his team of lawyers led by Mr Nureni Jimoh (SAN), argued that the charge was legally defective and premature.

He added that the NDLEA ought to have allowed police to exhaust its internal machinery before filing the applications in court.

He claimed that the Police had already commenced an investigation into allegations against him and issued an interim report.

The defendant argued that he could only be charged to court upon the conclusion of the internal investigation by the police.

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Religion

Reverend E.M.F. Oshoffa demotes London shepherd over insubordination

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In a move to uphold pastoral authority, Reverend Emmanuel Mobiyina Oshoffa, the Pastor and Spiritual Head of the Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide, has demoted VSE Bayo King, the Shepherd in Charge of the Celestial Church of Christ, Harton Street, London.

Also read: Reverend E.M.F. Oshoffa begins one week pastoral visit to UK Diocese

Citing repeated acts of disobedience and insubordination, Reverend Oshoffa announced the demotion in a memo titled “PASTORAL ORDER: DEMOTION IN SPIRITUAL RANK” with reference number CCC/EMF/PO/AD-DSR-001/04-24.

The memo highlighted VSE Bayo King’s refusal to vacate the Harton Street Parish as directed by previous Pastoral Orders dated 25th September 2023 and 12th February 2024.

It accused him of instigating parish members against the directives of the Pastor and destabilising the parish. As a result, VSE Bayo King has been demoted to the rank of Assistant Superior Evangelist with immediate effect.

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The Pastoral Order stipulates that during the period of demotion, the embattled London shepherd must not use or be addressed by any spiritual rank higher than Assistant Superior Evangelist.

Additionally, he is prohibited from wearing the church garment corresponding to any rank above Assistant Superior Evangelist.

The memo emphasizes that his conduct will be closely monitored by the Office of the Pastor, C.C.C. Worldwide.

Reverend Oshoffa expressed hope that VSE Bayo King would demonstrate the expected remorse, obey orders, and show improvement in his conduct, potentially leading to a reconsideration of the decision. Failure to do so could result in further disciplinary action.

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In a related statement, Reverend Oshoffa addressed concerns regarding the formation of a parallel Diocese in the UK under VSE Bola Olaleye.

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He clarified that he had not authorised any such formation and reaffirmed that the Celestial Church of Christ, United Kingdom Diocese, remains unified under the leadership of Most Superior Evangelist Amos Olabode Fatusin.

        Most Sup Evang Amos Fatusin, HoD UK Diocese

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Crime

Couple, accomplice arrested for alleged human trafficking in Anambra

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Couple, accomplice arrested for alleged human trafficking in Anambra

Anambra State Government through the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare has handed a couple and an accomplice to the police over alleged human trafficking in Ifitedunu, Dunukofia Local Government Area of the state.

This was made known in a statement by the media aide to the Women Affairs Commissioner, Chidinma Ikeanyionwu, on Facebook on Tuesday.

 

Also read: NURTW member, two others jailed for drug trafficking

 

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According to the statement, the arrest was made possible after the community chairman, Mr Arinzechukwu Azodo, notified the Women Affairs Commissioner, Ify Obinabo, about a suspected trafficking incident in the community.

According to Mr Azodo, he was alerted by his team commander over a report of suspected trafficking taking place in the community and quickly informed the commissioner, who instructed him to arrest the suspects.

Upon arrest, it was discovered that the suspects were about to seal a deal worth one million naira.

One of the suspects, Ebere, confessed that she was approached by another suspect, Temple Nwankwo, who offered to sell her twin baby.

Ebere claimed she agreed to partner with Temple and link her up with a prospective buyer. However, Temple denied any involvement in the alleged transaction.

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The statement said, “Ebere said she accepted to partner with her and went further to link her up to a prospective buyer who needed a male child urgently. Ebere in her confession said that after their negotiation, they agreed to meet at Oye Agu to further seal the transaction but instead, Temple requested an instant payment of one million naira in her account which the buyer objected to because he hadn’t seen the baby in question which brought disagreement among them before Temple changed her mind and left them.

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“On the alleged seller’s part, Temple Nwankwo from Enugu State but resident at Ifitedunu, she denied ever having to be in any type of business with Ebere but explained that she only reconnected with her when she was four months pregnant. Temple in her defence said it was Ebere who actually asked for her help in getting a male child because she’s not been able to have a child of her own.

“Temple in her confession said, after Ebere made the request, she warned her to never involve her in such and that since that day, Ebere has been coming to her house in her absence meeting her daughter even after her several warnings to her.

The investigation revealed that Temple had been accused of human trafficking by some community members, who claimed that she and her husband, Ndubuisi Nwankwo, were involved in the business. When questioned about the whereabouts of her two children, Temple claimed they were dead, but her story raised suspicions.

The statement added, “It will interest you to know that, some members of the community alleged that Temple is into the trafficking business with her husband Ndubuisi Nwankwo as an accomplice because they have not seen some of her children for a very long time.

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“When the couple were asked the whereabouts of the two kids, they claimed that they were dead but when asked about the people present when they were buried, they stated no one has ever been around to witness the burial of the two children.

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“It was at this point that the Honourable Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare Anambra, Obinabo, who was visibly sad over the incident, handed them over to the police for investigation and prosecution.”

The Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Obinabo, handed the suspects over to the police for investigation and prosecution, reiterating the state government’s commitment to ending human trafficking.

She urged the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the ministry.

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