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Supreme Court Dismisses Rumor of CJN Secretly Meeting with President-Elect Bola Tinubu In London

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Supreme Court
Supreme Court

By Uche Amunike

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has dismissed the rumor making the rounds on social media that Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola secretly travelled to London to have a meeting with President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, stating that there was no element of truth in it.

According to the rumor, the CJN was seen disguised in a wheelchair at the airport and was later wheeled into the London bound aeroplane.

Akande debunked the rumor and termed it as false, insisting that the CJN’s trip had nothing to do with Tinubu.

Recall that shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declared Bola Tinubu the winner of the general election held February 25, 2023, a total of four presidential candidates of four political parties went on protest against him and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), after which they filed their petitions in court.

Media aide to the President-elect, Tunde Rahman had announced earlier that Tinubu travelled to the United Kingdom for some rest after the rigorous campaign and hard-won win at the election.

Barely after this news could settle down, there was news of Bola Tinubu’s alleged meeting with the CJN all over the cyber space.

In reaction, spokesperson to the Supreme Court, Festus Akande , stated that the trip by the CJN to the UK had nothing to do with the President-elect being in the UK.

According to him, contrary to the claims in the social media that the CJN left the country on the 11th of March for the United Kingdom to meet with Bola Tinubu, ‘the CJN has been in Nigeria, and presided over meetings of the National Judicial Council (NJC) held on 16 and 17 March.’

Recall that the CJN had chaired a meeting of the National Judicial Council (NJC), held between March 16 and 17, where the decision to suspend the Chief Judge of Taraba State, Philibus Andetur, from office on account of misconduct was taken.

He further stated that after the meeting, the CJN travelled to the UK, accompanied by the NJC’s secretary, Gambo Saleh for medical treatment. He returned on March 23 back to Nigeria and reportedly to work, staying late till 8pm. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, he said, was aware of the trip as he was notified by the CJN before leaving the country.

Hear him: ‘The only time the CJN travelled earlier this year was on 25 January, when he travelled for Lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia. He returned on 29 January, 2023,’ the Supreme Court spokesperson explained.

Meanwhile the Chief Justice was seen yesterday with a retinue of aides walking into a waiting SUV at the Supreme court chambers to attend Jumat prayers at a mosque within the precincts of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

On his part, Bola Tinubu’s Media Director, Bayo Onanuga denied that there was any meeting between his principal and the CJN in London, describing the rumour as a concoction by ‘hatchet men’ and warned Nigerians to be wary of more fake rumors as the countdown to the presidential inauguration on May 29 continues.

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