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Police investigate whether David Amess specially targeted for killing

David Amess

Police investigate whether David Amess specially targeted for killing

Counter-terrorism detectives are investigating whether David Amess was specifically targeted for attack by a man who stabbed the MP multiple times, then waited for police to arrest him.

Sources confirmed the suspect was Ali Harbi Ali, 25, who on Saturday was detained under terrorism laws with a magistrate authorising his detention until next Friday.

The atrocity was assessed by senior counter-terrorism officials as being linked to a jihadist ideology because of developments in the investigation after the suspect was arrested, the Guardian understands.

These include statements the suspect allegedly made after police detained him.

The suspected terrorist attack just after midday on Friday, at the constituency surgery of the backbencher for Southend West, has stunned Westminster and forced a review of MPs’ security.

Specialist counter-terrorism lawyers with expertise in bringing terrorist prosecutions have been discussing the investigation with detectives from Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command, who are leading the investigation.

It was revealed the suspect was previously known to the Prevent scheme, the official programme to stop radicalisation. His involvement was short, according to multiple sources. He has no known previous terrorist involvement.

The suspect remained in custody having been first arrested on suspicion of murder at the scene, a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Despite the gap between the attack and the suspect’s arrest minutes later by police, no one else was injured, nor have witnesses or police described any attempt to stab anyone else.

Electronic devices are being examined, and police have said two addresses in London were being searched as part of the inquiry.

Police have said they are looking for no one else in relation to the killing of the MP, and that a knife was recovered at the scene.

In a statement, the Crown Prosecution Service said lawyers from its Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division were assisting police: “The CPS is supporting the police in their investigation into the appalling event which led to the tragic death of Sir David Amess.”

Amess was so badly injured that he died at the scene.

Southend borough councillor John Lamb said: “This person had gone there to join the surgery and when he got the chance he went in to be seen by David, then he drew a knife and stabbed him.

“We knew it must be very serious because the paramedics had been working on Sir David for over two and a half hours and they hadn’t got him on the way to hospital.”

In a statement, counter-terrorism police said: “As part of the fast-paced investigation, officers have attended three addresses in the London area and conducted searches. One of these searches has concluded and the others are ongoing. A postmortem examination has taken place today.”

In some areas on Saturday, police provided extra patrols as MPs held advice surgeries for their constituents.

Across the country, police forces will start contacting MPs to discuss their security arrangements and offer advice. One option is to have extra security at advice surgeries, provided by private guards but paid for by the taxpayer.

Police are aware that MPs, up until now at least, have been very reluctant to do anything that may deter members of the public from seeking their help.

Amess, 69, is the second MP to be killed in the past five years, after the murder of Jo Cox by an extreme rightwing terrorist during the campaign for the Brexit referendum in 2016.

There has been at least one foiled plot targeting another MP, and lawmakers have talked of a rising tide of threat.

A spokesperson for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, which represents police leaders, said on Saturday: “In light of yesterday’s tragic attack, every MP will be contacted individually … to discuss their security arrangements, and to ensure they are aware of all advice pertaining to their personal safety and security.

“They will also speak to MPs about security arrangements for any events they are planning to attend in the coming days, so the appropriate advice can be provided.

“We encourage MPs to immediately report any security concerns to their local police force in order to keep themselves, their staff and members of the public attending surgeries safe. Funding is available through the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority for security needs based on threat assessments made by police.”

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I Will Soon Start Signing Death Warrants- Bala Mohammed

Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed has disclosed that he will soon start to sign death warrants.

Mohammed made this known on Friday in Bauchi while signing the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill and a bill for the establishment of the Bauchi state penal code, into law.

In Nigeria, state governors are legally backed to sign the death warrants.

Since 2012, no governor has been reported to have signed death warrants.

“We will soon be signing some death sentences because there are many and because of justice which has to be taken to a logical conclusion

“I know some governors are running away from signing the death sentences because they exercise restraints on the basis that there may be some element of error.

“But to me, I will leave it to my lord (the chief judge) who will prosecute. It’s not my fault. If it is brought to my attention, I will do it.”

“As for the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act, we know that we are the first in the northern part of the country to enact the law, which is a member’s bill incidentally from the honourable speaker, and it has earned us a lot of respect in the country.

“But because of some noticed gaps, it was taken back and it was corrected. We thank the house for making the corrections.”

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Court Sacks 13 Ebonyi LG Bosses, 171 Councilors

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki has again nullified the Ebonyi Local Government Elections and sacked all the 13 Council chairmen in the state.

The court also sacked all the councilors and 171 ward chairmen of the state.

The court had on Aug. 25, nullified the council polls of May 31.

Ruling on the matter with suit NO: FHC/AI/CS/224/2022 on Friday, Justice Fatun Riman ordered the seizure of the monthly federal allocation of the chairmen pending when rightful Chief Executives were elected into office.

Fatun restated that the councils election by the State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) on May 31 was illegal and unconstitutional.

Mr Mudi Erenede, Counsel to the plaintiff said he was happy over the judgment and commended the court.

“In the judgement today, the court has agreed that the Ebonyi State High court has no powers to override or set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court because it is not an Appeal Court.

“Those people, who are parading themselves as chairmen are not there legally.

“They were appointed by whoever that appointed them. CBN, Attorney General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance are all defendants in this suits,” he stated.

The counsel to Ebonyi State Government, Mr Roy Nweze, said there was no need responding to a judgment that had already been delivered by the court.

Nweze said that the matter would be appealed without delay.

(NAN)

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Naval College Graduates 245 Officers, Personnel

The newly graduated personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 of the Nigerian Naval Engineering College (NNEC), Sapele in Delta, have been urged to remain committed to the service of the nation.

Rear Adm. Monday Unurhiere, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command, made the plea at the graduation ceremony of the 245 Under Training Personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 in Sapele.

Unurhiere, represented by Rear Adm. Baratuaipri Iyalla, said that the call became necessary in view of the security, economic and social challenges currently facing the country.

The naval chief urged the graduands to make deliberate efforts to improve themselves on the job by way of taking advantage of modern technology and also tapping into the wealth of experience of their superiors.

“Let me remind you that as officers of the Nigerian Navy, you are charged with enormous responsibility and your unswerving allegiance is to the Nation.

“The confidence reposed in you must not be taking for granted, especially at this time that our national aspirations are being threatened by numerous security, economic and social challenges.

“As such, you may find yourself being called upon to serve beyond your technical capability due to the prevailing situation in the country,” he said.

Unurhiere acknowledged the efforts of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, for creating the enabling environment for training and continued financial support to NNEC.

According to him, this has helped the College to contribute more to the technological advancement of Nigerian Navy and the nation at large.

He urged the graduands, especially the under training personnel, to maintain the current tempo in sustaining training and other naval activities.

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