Justice Bulkachuwa Withdraws From Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal

Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa

 

The Chairman of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, has withdrawn from the tribunal.

Justice Bulkachuwa withdrew from the tribunal for personal reasons after it dismissed an application by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, asking her to recuse herself from the tribunal.

The PDP and Abubakar had based their application, among other things, on the ground that Justice Bulkachuwa is the wife of Mr Adamu Bulkachuwa a prominent card-carrying member of the All Progressive Congress and Senator-elect for Bauchi north senatorial district which is a political party involved in the suit.

However, in delivering the lead ruling on the application, Justice Peter Ige, said not enough materials had been presented before the court to show that Justice Bulkachuwa will be biased in the hearing and the decisions on the petition.

Justice Ige added that the fact that she is married to a Senator-elect who along with her son are in the APC will not foist any room for bias in the case.

Stressing that her relationship is not capable of prejudicing the case, Justice Ige concluded that the petitioners have not satisfied the requirements for the president of the tribunal to recuse herself.

Consequently, he dismissed the application.

Although Justice Bulkachuwa agreed with the lead judgment and the dismissal of the application, she said she will recuse herself for personal reasons.

She explained that she insisted that the matter be heard by the full court so that in the future another female judge will not face the same thing she faced.

More to follow…

PDP Asks Justice Bulkachuwa To Withdraw From Presidential Election Tribunal

Withdraw From Presidential Election Tribunal, PDP Tells Justice Bulkachuwa
A file photo of PDP National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, to recuse herself from the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

It made the request in a petition dated May 8 and jointly signed by its National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus, and its National Secretary, Senator Umaru Tsauri.

An acknowledged copy of the petition sent to Channels Television revealed that it was received at the office of the Court of Appeal President in Abuja on Thursday.

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The main opposition party explained that its decision to ask Justice Bulkachuwa to withdraw from the panel was because of alleged connection with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

It said it was worried about the manner in which the proceedings of the Tribunal would be handled under the leadership of the Appeal Court President.

The PDP noted that the judge’s husband, Adamu Bulkachuwa, contested the Bauchi North Senatorial District election in February and won on the platform of the APC.

It added that when its ex parte application seeking the leave and the order of the court to inspect the materials used for the February 23 elections came up on March 7, it was heard by a panel led by Justice Abdu Aboki.

The party said while there was no reason to complain about the composition of the panel, it was surprised to note that Justice Bulkachuwa sat and presided over the five-man panel of the court which conducted the opening of the pre-hearing session in it petition on Wednesday.

It further expressed concern about some comments allegedly made by the judge during the inaugural sitting.

The PDP, therefore, raised an alarm of alleged possible bias and asked Justice Bulkachuwa to withdraw from the panel of the court sitting over its petition.

The opposition party’s application at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal one is among others filed to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the February 23 polls.

Read the PDP’s petition against the Appeal Court President below:

General Elections: Tribunal Received Over 700 Petitions – Justice Bulkachuwa

The Presidential Election Petition Panel commences its inaugural session on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. PHOTO: Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa by Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels TV. 

 

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, has disclosed that the tribunal has received over 700 petitions from the just concluded General Elections with Imo State having 78 petitions which are the highest numbers.

Justice Bulkachuwa while opening the session on Wednesday vowed that the tribunal will act in strict adherence of the rule of law.

The Court of Appeal President who is heading the five man-panel said the hearing will be on a day to day basis.

READ ALSO: Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal Commences Sitting

Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and others three petitioners are seeking the nullification of Buhari’s victory at the February 23 presidential poll on allegations of widespread rigging, violations of the Electoral Act, suppression of voters, violence amongst other electoral malpractices.

The others include the Hope Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Ambrose Owuru; Peoples Democratic Movement and its presidential candidate, Pastor Aminchi Habu and the Coalition for Change (C4C) and it’s presidential candidate Jeff Ojinka.