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Biden to appoint Nigerian woman US Supreme Court justice

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President Joe Biden said he will nominate a Black woman to the US Supreme Court for the first time in history, filling the vacancy left by retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

Candace Jackson-Akiwumi has been noted as one of the most likely potential nominees for a Supreme Court appointment under President Joe Biden.

Jackson-Akiwumi is married to her husband Eric Akiwumi, who is a Nigerian.

“I’ve made no decision except (the) person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity,” Biden said in an address from the White House.

“And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court.”

Biden, speaking at a podium alongside Breyer, also indicated that he would seek a speedy nomination process, promising to name his candidate by the end of February.

The exit of Breyer, who is 83, gives Biden a likely smooth opportunity to name a replacement to the lifelong seat on the Supreme Court while his Democratic Party retains control of the Senate.

The Supreme Court is currently split between six conservatives and three liberals. Biden will now be able to nominate another liberal-leaning jurist to the court, maintaining the balance.

Breyer had been under pressure from liberals to leave in time for Biden to get his nominee through the Senate before November’s midterm elections, when Republicans are in a strong position to win majorities in Congress and would then control the approval process.

As president, Donald Trump had the rare opportunity to put no fewer than three new justices on the court, fundamentally shifting its political leaning for potentially years to come.

Biden’s one pick so far will have nowhere near that level of impact. However, the Democrat will be glad of a successful confirmation process, delivering a much needed morale boost to his party ahead of the midterms.

As an immediate reminder of the tensions that Supreme Court confirmations often provoke, Republican senior Senator Mitch McConnell warned Biden “not to outsource this important decision to the radical left.”

“To the degree that President Biden received a mandate, it was to govern from the middle,” McConnell said.

In his resignation letter, published Thursday, Breyer underlined the coordinated plan to ensure that the succession moves with minimal upheaval, confirming that he will stay on the court through the packed current term — but not before his replacement is ready.

“I intend this decision to take effect when the court rises for the summer recess this year (typically late June or early July) assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed,” he wrote.

– Campaign pledge –
Biden promised to put an African-American woman on the court back when he was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The vow was part of his vital outreach to the Black community, which became a crucial component in ultimately defeating a crowded field of Democratic rivals and then unseating Trump.

Biden put the first Black and Asian woman, Kamala Harris, on the ticket as his vice president, and since taking office has also pushed hard to place more women and ethnic minorities as senior judges.

Biden said that in the search for Breyer’s replacement, he would be asking Harris to help, describing her as “an exceptional lawyer” and noting she was a former member of the Senate judiciary committee — a body he himself led while serving as a senator.

Among the leading candidates to replace Breyer are Ketanji Brown Jackson, a US Court of Appeals judge, and Leondra Kruger of the California Supreme Court.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden had “already started reviewing potential candidates” and the nomination process should “happen as expeditiously as possible.”

Of the 115 justices who served on the Supreme Court, only five have been women, including three today — Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett. Only two have been Black men, one of whom is current Justice Clarence Thomas.

Breyer is the oldest justice on the court and was nominated in 1994 by then Democratic president Bill Clinton.

Praising Breyer, Biden highlighted his bipartisan spirit, saying he “patiently sought common ground” and was “a model public servant in a time of great division in this country.”

AFP

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2023: Buhari may meet Osinbajo, Tinubu, Amaechi, others

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President Muhammadu Buhari would this week meet with all the preidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The meeting was called with a view to reducing the number of presidential hopefuls and also ensuring that all of them pledge to accept the outcome of the primary as was done during the APC presidential primary in 2014.

“The President will meet with the aspirants a few days to the primary with a view to ensuring that there is unity and harmony. He will also meet with the governors separately. The date is not fixed yet, but it should be this week if INEC doesn’t extend the deadline for the primary as we are all hoping,” said an APC chieftain who wished to remain anonymous.

“The President has a candidate. How to present the idea to the likes of Tinubu will be the challenge,” he added.

Buhari’s most senior spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, had said last week that the President indeed had a preferred candidate.

He stated, “In a previous interview when the President was asked whether he had a favourite candidate, he answered yes; but he will not mention him because mischief may happen to that person.

“That shows you that the President himself is interested in the process and he has a preferred candidate; but whether he will impose his candidate is what you cannot determine at the moment.”

When contacted on the telephone, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said he was not aware of any meeting the President would be having with the aspirants.

“I am not aware of any meeting as of now,” he said.

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Gunmen behead abducted Anambra lawmaker from Governor Soludo’s constituency, hang head in motor park

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Gunmen who abducted a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Okey Okoye, have beheaded him.

After beheading him, his head was reportedly displayed at a motor park in Nnobi, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.

The incident, which happened on Saturday, created panic in the community, which had been witnessing a series of violent killings since last year.

Sources added that his body was not there and indications were that the killers removed the body.

“The Anambra lawmaker representing Soludo’s constituency, Okechukwu Okoye who was earlier kidnapped, has been beheaded by gunmen; the late lawmaker’s head was mounted at Chisco Park in Amichi community,” a military source said on Saturday.

Gunmen had last Sunday abducted the lawmaker who was representing Aguata II state constituency in Aguata alongside Cyril Chiegboka, his campaign director.

Governor Charles Soludo had said during the week that efforts were ongoing to rescue the Anambra lawmaker from his abductors.

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MC Oluomo allegedly demands N100million to support re-election of Oshodi Rep member

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Chairman of the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly called MC Oluomo, is allegedly demanding N100 million to support the re-election of the member representing Oshodi Federal Constituency 1 in the House of Representatives, Hon. Bashiru Dawodu.

Dawodu, a medical doctor, rode on the back of MC Oluomo to win the election in 2019 after series of attempts in the past.

Dawodu presenting his Certificate of Return to MC Oluomo

Both, however, fell apart few months after Dawodu was elected due to irreconcilable differences .

MC Oluomo is said to be angry with Dawodu for not honouring agreements he (Dawodu) had with him prior to his victory in 2019.

MC Oluomo, who is seen as de-facto leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oshodi was said to have vowed to work against Dawodu’s re-election in 2023.

He is believed to be working for the emergence of a former Chairman of Oshodi/Isolo Local Government, Afeez Ipesa Balogun to emerge as the APC’s candidate for the House of Representatives election in the constituency.

However, party leaders in the local government including the Chairman of the council, Kehinde Oloyede Almoof had appealed to MC Oluomo to tone down his opposition to Dawodu and support his re-election.

It was gathered that MC Oluomo did not turn down the fence-mending approach because he said he did the same with Oloyede who was his former arch-enemy.

It was further gathered that MC Oluomo demanded N100 million from Dawodu before he gets his support.

The money according to MC Oluomo is to settle his aides and loyalists, who supported Dawodu in 2019 but were abandoned by the Rep member.

According to sources at the various fence-mending meeting, appeals to MC Oluomo to reduce the amount were rebuffed.

Another dimension has, however, been added to the involvement of Oloyede in the matter.

The sources revealed that the council chairman, Oloyede is supporting Dawood because of his own interest.

Oloyede has been eyeing the Rep seat before his election as the council chairman.

Oloyede’s calculation according to the sources is that should Dawood gets the second term, it would be easy for him (Oloyede) to contest for the seat in 2027.

One of the sources who does not want his name in print because of backlash said : “Oloyede is supporting Dawood because of his own personal interest. He believes supporting Dawood may work for him in 2027.

Continuing, the source noted that Oloyede would rather support Dawodu over any other candidates because others eyeing the seat are first timers, who may want to seek for re-election in 2027.

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