At Last Justice Bulkachuwa Bows To Pressure, Withdraws From Presidential Election Petition Tribunal

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, who has been under severe pressure to recuse from the ongoing presidential election petition tribunal, based on her close affiliation to the ruling APC party, had bowed to pressure as she withdrew as a member of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday.

Bulkachuwa has been accused of likelihood of bias, leveled against her by the Peoples Democratic Party, and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Even though the five-man panel of the tribunal, unanimously dismissed the application, Bulkachuwa however, said she was withdrawing for “personal reasons.”

Justice Olabisi Ige, in his ruling, held that the relationship between Justice Bulkachuwa and her husband, Adamu Bulkachuwa, who is a senator-elect, and her son Aliyu Abubakar, a governorship aspirant, both on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, was not weighty enough to infer that she would be biased in her handling of the proceedings of the panel.

Justice Ige also ruled that no inference of likelihood of bias could be inferred from the speech delivered by Justice Bulkachuwa, at the inaugural sitting of the tribunal on May 8 that she had pre-judged the petitioners’ petition.

And all members of the panel, including Justice Bulkachuwa, agreed with the lead ruling. Yet, Justice Bulkachuwa said, “I am recusing myself from the panel for personal reasons.”

She, also expressed her joy on how the matter was settled “based on facts and the law” so that “another female judge will no longer have to face what I have faced.”

She also revealed that a new presiding Justice would be appointed for the panel, while the four remaining members of the panel would continue with the hearing of the preliminary applications, pending the appointment of the new head of the panel.

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