The Federal Government says it has completed repair of the damaged track on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
Engr. Fidet Okhiria, Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
In the statement, which Engr. Niyi Ali signed on his behalf, the NRC Managing Director said, “The connection of the AKTS line has been achieved. This implies that the major track components (Concrete Sleepers and Rails) have been completely laid. The south end of the tracks (which was destroyed by the explosion) has been successfully joined with the north end. Track access between Abuja and Kaduna is now restored.
“The Technical Team continue with other track stablization works including Ballasting, Temping, Fastening of accessories (clips, bolts and nuts) and Welding.”
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He further stated that “loco 2502 which was involved in the accident (though not damaged) and trapped at the Rigasa end due to lack of route access has now crossed to the Idu end and taken to the Workshop for proper examination and routine maintenance.”
He said “the Abuja – Kaduna Train Service (AKTS) will resume soon with additional security measures put in place.”
He also said when the trains resume, “passengers will be required to provide their NIN registration for verification prior to purchasing train tickets. This is for improved Passenger profiling and safety on-board.
Most of the victims abducted during the incident of March 28, 2022, are still in captivity.
Soludo terminates Anambra road contract, says contractor may make refund
A contractor handling a road project in the Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State may be asked to refund part of the money paid for the job after the road contract has been terminated.
Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, who terminated the road contract during an unscheduled visit to the project site, gave the indication.
He accused the contractor of doing a poor job; taking too long to complete the project and ordered the firm to remove its equipment from the site immediately.
Soludo said, “I just called the Commissioner for Works and I have told him that this contract has been terminated.
“See what you are doing. I have terminated the contract, and you are supposed to return the money you were paid.
“We gave you this contract on the basis that you are an indigenous company, but see what you are doing. This is what we see. You blocked the entire highway and nobody can pass. Now that I am going to my hometown, how do I go?
“For months, you blocked the road, even for people to pass through.
“This job was supposed to have been finished in October, and that was the contract you were given.
“Other companies that were given contracts like you have all delivered.”
Despite explanations by the contractor that the road had peculiarities, the governor told him that there are other roads with more difficult terrain and the contractors had delivered.
He added, “I have terminated the contract and there is nothing you can tell me about it. Remove all your equipment from this place and move out because another contractor is coming to take over the job.
“If you continue, it is at your own risk because we are not paying you a dime. Instead, we are asking for a refund.”
24-year-old man gets death sentence for cultism, rape
A 24-year-old man, Segun Iwaetan, has been sentenced to death by hanging for engaging in cultism.
He also bagged life imprisonment for raping a 20-year-old neighbour and student of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti.
He was tried on seven counts bordering on rape, unlawful possession of firearms, and membership of a secret cult.
The charges read in part, “Segun Iwaetan and Atila Iwaetan (now at large) on January 16, 2021, on Federal Polytechnic Road, Ado Ekiti, did conspire to commit burglary and stealing by breaking into the shop of Olayemi Oyerinde, and receiving stolen property such as 50 jean trousers, 15 polo shirts, 30 pairs of leather slippers, among others, worth over N1.8m.
“Also, on February 5, 2021, the defendant raped a 20-year-old Federal Polytechnic student on Odo Ado Street, Ado Ekiti, while unlawfully in possession of two guns. He was on February 10, 2021, found to be a member of the Eiye Confraternity cult.”
In her testimony, the victim said, “The defendant was my neighbour. On that day, he gained access to my room around 3am; he pointed a gun at me and ordered me not to shout or else he would shoot me. He ordered me to undress and forcibly had sex with me. As of the time he raped me, I was still a virgin. Thereafter, he begged me to forgive him and I should not tell anybody.
Justice Adeniyi Familoni in his judgement on Monday convicted the defendant on four of the charges.
Familoni said, “The defendant is sentenced as follows: conspiracy and unlawful possession of firearms, 12 years’ imprisonment each without any option of fine; sentences are to run concurrently from the date of the arrest and detention of the defendant.”
On rape, the court sentenced the convict to life imprisonment.
For membership of the Eiye Confraternity, the judge said, “The sentence of this court upon you is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.”
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