The Supreme Court on Friday confirmed that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, travelled to the United Kingdom for medical treatment but denied that he met with the “President-elect”, Bola Tinubu, in London.
Recall that a series of controversies erupted after media reports that the CJN had secretly left the country for the United Kingdom to meet with Tinubu to discuss the presidential election case.
However, the Supreme Court’s spokesperson, Festus Akande, denied the reports on Friday, calling them false.
He stated that while the CJN did travel out of the country, it was for medical reasons and not to meet with the president-elect.
“The CJN has been in Nigeria, and presided over meetings of the National Judicial Council (NJC) held on 16 and 17 March,” Akande told Premium Times.
According to Akande, the CJN only left Nigeria for a brief visit to London on March 18 for medical treatment.
The CJN was accompanied by the NJC’s Secretary, Gambo Saleh, he said.
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“On 23 March, the CJN returned from his medical trip to London and later reported in the office (in Abuja), where he worked till 8p.m,” Akande said.
He added, “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.”
Meanwhile, Ugamatv had reported that the CJN was on Friday spotted observing his prayers at the Ansar-Ud-Deen Central Mosque in Abuja.
He went to the prayers from the Supreme Court, Abuja.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), two major opposition parties, during the week filed separate petitions challenging the results of the presidential election on February 25.
Also reacting to this, the campaign team of Bola Tinubu had denied the report of the clandestine meeting between the president-elect and the Chief Justice.
The campaign, in a statement issued by one of its spokespersons, Bayo Onanuga, had said that contrary to the claim in the report, Tinubu was still in Paris, France and had not moved to London.