UK Private Visit: Remain Silent Or Stop Lying, Lawyer Tells Presidency

The Nigerian Presidency has been told to remain silent rather than lie to the public that President Muhammadu Buhari is embarking on a private visit to a foreign land.

The advise is coming from Inibehe Effiong, a legal practitioner based in Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Early Thursday morning, the presidency told the nation that Mr Buhari will embark on a private visit to the United Kingdom, the European country where he goes for medical treatment and check ups.

However, the journey is to begin after the president’s official visit to Borno State where he is expected to “inaugurate some developmental projects.”

The notification is what the legal practitioner is not finding funny. He argued that the president cannot be embarking on a private visit to a foreign land with public funds.

He also said the office which Buhari occupies is not a private one, advising the presidency to either be truthful or remain silent.

“President Buhari cannot travel on a private visit outside of Nigeria,” Effiong said.

“There is nothing private about the office of the president of Nigeria. Buhari cannot claim to be going to the United Kingdom for a private with public funds, official aircraft and other public benefits.

“The President’s vacation cannot be a private visit, the Constitution regulates the vacation of the president. It is even ludicrous to suggest that Buhari will visit a foreign country for “a private visit”. It would have probably made a little sense if Buhari is visiting Daura.

“Rather than lie to the public, the President’s handlers should just remain silent. This sickening opacity will not help us,” the lawyer said.

In 2017, the president spent almost two months in the foreign country treating an undisclosed ailment.

During his absence, Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, took over power in acting capacity.