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Court Processes Won’t Stop Transfer of Power on May 29, Says Nigeria’s SGF

“President Muhammadu Buhari will not spend a day extra beyond May 29,” he said.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, has assured Nigerians that a formal transition of power to the elected government on May 29 would not be truncated by the spate of litigations challenging the conduct of the presidential election held on February 25.

Mustapha gave the assurance on Tuesday when he updated the media during the fifth sitting of the Presidential Transition Council (PTC) in Abuja.

The SGF, who also heads the PTC, said the formal handing over to the elected government on May 29 was a constitutional matter, adding that, all petitions about the conduct of the election, whether resolved or unresolved, would not in any way stop the transfer of power.

“President Muhammadu Buhari will not spend a day extra beyond May 29, when he will hand over power to whoever has been declared by INEC. The court processes will continue and whatever determination of those, who are aggrieved even after the swearing-in it has always been accommodated.

“This is not the first time we have had an election and is not the first time people have assumed offices and litigations continue. So, the matters before the election tribunal will continue unabated till the final determination and the matters could get to the Supreme Court if the parties involved are dissatisfied with every level of the litigation,” Mustapha said.

He said the two persons nominated by the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, to the PTC – the Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Atiku Bagudu and Mr Olawale Edun – have actively joined the council, which was inaugurated on February 14, 2023.

He added that the president-elect has also been requested to nominate 13 persons that wouldwork across the 13 sub-committees that have been working round the clock to ensure that all preparations are in place for a smooth inauguration ceremony.

In his update, Mustapha also revealed that the refurbishment of the offices for the President and Vice-President elect had been completed by the Facilities, Security and Intelligence Committee headed by the National Security Adviser (NSA) while the full complement of security personnel of the Department of State Service and the Nigerian Police Force has been deployed to the President and Vice-President elect.

In addition, he said protocol officers have also been assigned to both the President and Vice President-Elect from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Intelligence Agency while as part of the transition process, four members of the president-elect’s team would be joining the federal government delegation to the Spring meeting of the World bank.

The SGF said to ensure a smooth transition process, the PTC has been segmented into three committees, consisting of the Inauguration Committee, Transition Documents Committee, and Facilities, Security, and Intelligence Committee.

The inauguration committee headed by the SGF is responsible for organising the swearing and the inaugural parade; working out the details programmes and other logistics necessary for the successful inauguration ceremonies.

The Transition Documents Committee, headed by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, is responsible for compiling all policy, programmes and projects of the administration in the form of a compendium that focuses on the government’s nine priority areas.

It is also in charge of ensuring the preparation of sectoral briefs and handover notes of the current administration for the in-coming administration.

However, the Facilities, Security and Intelligence Committee is to organise necessary facilities and take charge of provision of security for the President and Vice-President Elect; Provision of covert and overt security before, during and after the 2023 Presidential Inauguration including venues of events, hotels, airports, entry points, roads and general surveillance of FCT.

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

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