Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied reports of a meeting in London between the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, and the president-elect, Bola Tinubu.
The apex court’s spokesman, Dr. Festus Akande, told THISDAY that the rumoured meeting, which has gone viral on social media, is completely false.
Tinubu was proclaimed the winner of the February 25 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), having received the majority of legal votes cast at the poll.
Nonetheless, four political parties and their respective presidential candidates have filed court challenges in opposition to Tinubu and his party, the All Progressives Congress’ triumph.
According to his media aide Tunde Rahman, Tinubu travelled to the United Kingdom a few days ago “to relax following the tough campaign and hard-won election triumph.”
Before Tinubu’s travel report could settle, however, the social media was dominated by reports of his supposed encounter with the CJN.
The spokeswoman for the supreme court said that there was no relation between the CJN’s journey and Tinubu’s.
Akande said that contrary to the report’s assertion that Ariwoola left Nigeria on 11 March to meet with the president-elect in the United Kingdom, “the CJN was in Nigeria and presided over meetings of the National Judicial Council (NJC) on 16 and 17 March.”
Recall that on March 16 and 17, the CJN presided over a meeting of the National Judicial Council (NJC) in which the decision to suspend the Chief Judge of Taraba State, Philibus Andetur, for misbehaviour was made.
He claimed that the CJN and NJC Secretary Gambo Saleh travelled to London on 18 March for medical treatment following the NJC meeting.
“On March 23, the CJN returned from a medical trip to London and afterwards reported to the office (in Abuja), where he worked till 8 p.m.,” he explained.
Before the CJN’s departure to London, Mr. Ariwoola informed President Muhammadu Buhari, according to Akande.
“The only occasion the CJN travelled earlier this year was on January 25, when he travelled to Saudi Arabia for the Lesser Hajj. He came back on January 29, 2023 “The spokeswoman for the Supreme Court explained.
On Friday, Ariwoola was seen boarding a waiting SUV at the apex court chambers in order to attend Jumat prayers at a mosque within the grounds of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.