Eighteen days to his inauguration, the president-elect, 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 president-elect 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 multi-sectorial 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 mutually-beneficial 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 non-transmission 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.