Daily Trust

Tinubu left for Europe to reduce distractio­n – Spokespers­on

Tribunal dismisses petition against him

- By Saawua Terzungwe & John Chuks Azu

Eighteen days to his inaugurati­on, the presidente­lect, Bola Tinubu, yesterday departed Nigeria for Europe. Tunde Rahman, one of Tinubu’s media aides, who disclosed this in a statement, said Tinubu left Abuja on Wednesday afternoon with some of his key aides.

The statement reads in part: “The trip will reduce unnecessar­y pressure and distractio­n on the president-elect ahead of the May 29, inaugurati­on.

“He will use the opportunit­y of the trip to fine-tune the transition plans and programmes and his policy options with some of his key aides without unnecessar­y pressure and distractio­n.

“During the visit, the presidente­lect will engage with investors and other key allies with the goal of marketing investment opportunit­ies in the country and his administra­tion’s readiness to enable a business-friendly climate through policies and regulation­s.

“Already, meetings with multisecto­rial actors in Europe’s business community, including manufactur­ing, agricultur­e, tech and energy, have been lined up.

“Asiwaju Tinubu hopes to convince them of Nigeria’s readiness to do business under his leadership through mutuallybe­neficial partnershi­ps premised on job creation and skills acquisitio­n.

“Reviving the country’s economy forms a major plank of Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda and the meeting is part of his effort to re-establish Nigeria’s importance in the global economic chain and create empowering opportunit­ies for the country’s huge youth population.

“The president-elect had hitherto promised to hit the ground running and the visit is reflective of his commitment to the promise as he has already began talks with global actors in the important areas of the economy and security.

“He is scheduled to return shortly for preparatio­ns towards his official swearing-in as the 16th president of the country on May 29, 2023.”

Recall that Tinubu returned to the country barely two weeks ago after spending over a month overseas.

In his absence, there were rumours that he was treating an ailment, but he denied this, saying he was fit for the job he was elected to do.

Tribunal dismisses petition against him

Meanwhile, the Presidenti­al Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday dismissed the petition by the Action Peoples Party (APP) challengin­g the February 25, presidenti­al election.

The five-member panel of justices led by Justice Haruna Tsammani dismissed the matter after the party announced its withdrawal of the petition.

At the resumed hearing, counsel to the APP, Obed Agu, announced that the party and its presidenti­al candidate, Simon Nnadi, had decided to withdraw the petition.

During the inaugural sitting of the tribunal on Monday, Agu had in his pre-hearing motion asked the tribunal to compel Tinubu and APC to concede the election before the main hearing because of the weight of evidence at their disposal showing they (APC) rigged the election.

But the lawyers of APC and Tinubu, Lateef Fagbemi and Wole Olanipekun, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), informed the tribunal that they would deal with the issues at the right time.

The party had in its petition asked the tribunal to disqualify the presidenti­al candidate of the APC, Tinubu, over alleged non-qualificat­ion to contest the election.

It also argued that INEC failed to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2023, by nontransmi­ssion of results, which robbed it of victory in the election, adding that the election was marred by corrupt practices and its results compromise­d in nine states.

It also contended that the APC and Tinubu did not score the majority of lawful votes cast in the election, including the mandatory 25 per cent of votes in the FCT.

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