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6 man-panel departs for Saudi Arabia today

…Akunyili explains reason for the visit

By Laide AKINBOADE

ABUJA—BARRING last minute change of plan, the Presidential six-man investigative panel to ascertain the fitness or otherwise of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua is expected to depart Nigeria for Saudi Arabia tomorrow morning.

According to a Presidency source, the team which is in hurry to complete its assignment and turned in its report could leave Saturday night, if the Saudi embassy in Nigeria was able to complete the processing of travelling documents, earlier than the Saturday morning it promised.

As a mark of farewell and assurances that it will deliver on its mandate, members of the panel yesterday evening visited Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, separately, but none of them agreed to speak to the press.

The team which is heading to Saudi, had been issued “you must see him” order, has also been directed to use diplomatic tactics to ensure that it meet with Yar’Adua, by first heading straight to meet with King Abdulla Bin Abdulaziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who would facilitate a consequent meeting with Yar’Adua.

The team which constituted Wednesday by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, at its meeting, presided over by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan is not only on a fact finding mission to the Middle-East but to also convey Nigeria’s salutation to the government and people of that country for harbouring the Nigerian leader.


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