Monday, April 15, 2024

As Buhari’s administration exits in 72 hours

  • Nigerians give verdict, prepare for ‘fresh air’
  • I won’t disappoint you, Tinubu assures citizens
  • Court of Appeal fines ex-presidential candidate N40m over suit to stop inauguration

As the President Muhammadu Buhari administration prepares for its exit in the next 72 hours, the outgoing President has rated his government satisfactory.

While conferring the highest national honours on the President-elect and the Vice President-elect, President Buhari said he had finished his race well and was satisfied that he would hand over Nigeria to competent hands.

Tinubu, on his part, vowed not to disappoint Nigerians.

He also affirmed that he understands the magnitude of the honour conferred upon him and the corresponding tasks ahead.

“I have run my course. I am happy that I am handing over to competent hands,” President Buhari said.

However, in a poll by The Point, Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions as the handover date draws closer.

While some are eager to witness what the Tinubu administration has to offer and feel some fresh air, others are cautious with their expectations.

Majority, however, scored the current administration low in many areas of assessment, saying the Buhari regime was characterised by hardship and insecurity.

They, however, urged the incoming administration to start off with sound policies that would right the economic wrongs of the past.

Meanwhile, in his address at the investiture, the President-elect said his election to lead the over 200 million people in the country was a goodwill, which came from a place of trust.

He said, “I am a simple man who is the beneficiary of the support and goodwill of the people of Nigeria. The people have put their trust in us. You have done your part Mr. President.

“Now, that great duty descends on me. I understand the meaning of the honour given to me today and of the tasks that await.

“I must run this race and must do it well. On security, the economy, agriculture, jobs, education, health and power and in all other sectors we must make headway. The people deserve no less. In this, I shall disappoint neither them nor you, Mr. President.”

The President-elect recognised that Nigeria’s path might not always be smooth, but he expressed faith in the country’s purpose and collective ability to overcome challenges.

“Our way shall not always be smooth. Yet we are imbued with faith in our purpose and a firm belief in our collective ability to overcome the challenges that confront us,” he said.

The President-elect also commended Buhari’s unwavering commitment to progressive and democratic good governance, recognising him as a leader who took courageous decisions when others shied away.

He specifically thanked President Buhari for designating June 12 as Democracy Day and honouring MKO Abiola with the GCFR title, a decision other presidents were afraid to take.

He said, “President Buhari, you have shown courage in taking tough decisions others avoided.

“One of such decisions was to recognise the injustice of the annulment of the 1993 election, to designate June 12 as Democracy Day, and to bestow the nation’s highest honour on the late MKO Abiola.

“As much as anyone could, you reached back into history to set the record straight and heal a festering wound.

“The justice you did in this matter lends special meaning to today.”

The President-elect also expressed his gratitude to President Buhari for bestowing the nation’s highest honours on him and Vice President-elect Shettima.

“Thank you, Mr. President, for bestowing the nation’s highest honours on my Vice President-elect Shettima and me,” he said.

Tinubu also extended his appreciation for the transition documents and the diligent work performed by the transition council led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

While acknowledging the comprehensive scorecard presented in the transition documents, he said, “The documents summarise the immense work of your administration. They constitute an impressive and noteworthy scorecard.”

He further emphasised that the ceremony exemplified Nigeria’s vibrant and true democracy, where one leader honours his successor and ensures a smooth transition of power.

“This stately occasion is living evidence that Nigeria is a vibrant and true democracy,” Tinubu noted.

Thursday’s conferment makes Tinubu the 16th person to hold the GCFR Honour.

Those before him are Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Shehu Shagari, Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Ibrahim Babangida, Ernest Shonekan, Sani Abacha, Moshood Abiola, Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.

Others who have been conferred with the title include British Monarch Queen Elizabeth II, South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and former Libyan Leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Court of Appeal fines ex-presidential candidate N40m over suit to stop Tinubu’s inauguration

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has slammed a fine of N40 million on the presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party, Ambrose Owuru, for filing a suit against the president-elect, Bola Tinubu’s inauguration.

The Abuja-based lawyer, Owuru, had filed a lawsuit with which he had sought to prevent the May 29 inauguration from taking place at the Eagles Square in the Federal Capital Territory.

In a judgement on Thursday, a three-member panel of the court was unanimous in holding that the appeal by Owuru and his party, the HDP, amounted to an abuse of the court process.

In the lead judgement, Justice Jamil Tukur held that the appeal was an invitation for the court to review its earlier decision, which it could not do.

Justice Tukur further said that the issues in the appeal had earlier been determined by the court while sitting as an election petition court after the 2019 election with a judgement given on August 22, 2019.

He also found that the Supreme Court had also heard the case and pronounced it with a judgement given on October 28, 2019.

Tukur held that the case, having been litigated up to the Supreme Court, it was an abuse of the judicial process for Owuru and his party to seek to have the matter relitigated.

He upheld the January 30 judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which earlier dismissed the case for being an abuse of court process.

Justice Tukur proceeded to dismiss the appeal and ordered Owuru to pay each of the respondents N10 million in cost.

The respondents are President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Independent National Electoral Commission and Tinubu.

The appeal by Owuru and HDP was against the January 30 judgment by Justice Ekwo, dismissing their suit in which Owuru had sought to be sworn in as Buhari’s successor.

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