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Police investigate whether David Amess specially targeted for killing

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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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Reps To Investigate Subsidy Regime From 2017 To 2021

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Reps To Investigate Subsidy Regime From 2017 To 2021

The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the petroleum products subsidy regime from 2017 to 2021.

The resolution followed a motion by Honourable Sergius Ogun who stated that component costs in the petroleum products subsidy value chain claimed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is highly over-bloated while the transfer pump price per litre, used by the NNPC in relation to Petroleum Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC), is underquoted.

The lawmaker described this as fraudulent while also expressing worry that the subsidy regime has been used by the NNPC and other critical stakeholders to subvert the nation’s crude oil revenue to the tune of over $10 billion.

The committee is to report back to the House within eight weeks for further legislative action.

Wednesday’s move by the lawmaker came on the same day that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mele Kyari ruled out the possibility of a subsidy for diesel.

He made the comments while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Downstream, alongside the CEO of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, among others.

“In our country today, we do not produce AGO and we regret that our refineries are not working,” he said. “Are we doing anything about it? Yes. I have heard the honourable members lamenting; yes, they (the refineries) are not working.

“This is the truth. I don’t want to bore you with why they are not working, but they are not working; I admit they are not working but we regret it. I will invite this committee at your convenience to join us to see how much work we have done to get them back to work, but they will not come back tomorrow.

“They will not! You cannot start it tomorrow. We regret this; we regret this situation, and we are doing everything possible. As a matter of fact, we have decided to do a quick fix for the Warri refinery. The reason is very simple: we don’t even want to go the long route of doing comprehensive turnaround maintenance because we are concerned.”

 

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2023: Presidency Must Return To Southern Nigeria, Fayose Insists

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2023: Presidency Must Return To Southern Nigeria, Fayose Insists

A former governor of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose has insisted that the southern part of Nigeria must produce the country’s president in 2023.

Fayose, a two-time governor under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said this in a series of tweets on his official handle on Wednesday, pinning his argument on the party’s constitution.

“The PDP Constitution provides for a rotational Presidency. Section 3(c) provides that the Party shall pursue its aims & objectives by “adhering to the policy of the rotation & zoning of Party & Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice, and fairness’,” Fayose maintained.

“The current President of Nigeria is a 2-term Northern Presidency, thus implying that it MUST be a Southern Presidency in 2023 or NOTHING. Awa ‘South’ lo kan’. Nigerians should await details soon.”

Fayose, who contested the PDP presidential primary, lost out to former Vice President Atiku Abukar in the exercise held earlier this month.

He has been one of the strong advocates for a power shift to southern Nigeria despite the party Atiku from the northern region, as the party’s flagbearer.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who also lost in the exercise, had campaigned, among others, based on a power shift to the south.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), however, is fielding a southerner – Bola Tinubu – as its presidential candidate to honour the power-sharing deal called zoning between the north and south.

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Senate confirms Buhari’s ministerial nominees

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Senate confirms Buhari’s ministerial nominees

The senate has confirmed seven persons nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari for ministerial positions.

The upper legislative chamber confirmed the nominees on Wednesday after they were screened by the “committee of the whole” chaired by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The ministers-designate will replace those who resigned to pursue political bids.

Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Godswill Akpabio and Emeka Nwajiuba are some of the ministers who resigned to pursue presidential bids.

The ministers confirmed on Wednesday are Henry Ikoh (Abia), Umana Okon Umana (Akwa Ibom), Ekuma Joseph (Ebonyi), Goodluck Nana Obia (Imo), Umar Ibrahim Yakub (Kano), Ademola Adewole Adegorioye (Ondo), and Odo Udi (Rivers).

During screening, Ikoh said as a way of tackling employment in the country, “technical” graduates can be job creators.

“On the unemployment situation, we need more technical graduates to do most of the things we are doing right now. If you are a technical graduate, you can employ yourself and employ others,” he said.

On his part, Umana said the country could boost its foreign exchange earnings with its free trade zones.

“On the issue of how to boost foreign exchange, I want to say that even the free zones platform is a veritable platform for this,” he said.

“The free zone is a platform that can drive production because when you produce for export, you earn foreign exchange.”

Nakama said the federal government must be ready to make some compromise to end the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

“On tackling the issue of ASUU, my answer is that there will be leave of compromise. Government and ASUU will have to come to a compromise and through this, we will able to solve these incessant strikes once and for all,” he said.

The remaining four nominees were asked to “take a bow and go” on the grounds of their experience.

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