- Tribunal to hear application to withdraw Justice Bulkachuwa on May 22.
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his party, on Wednesday asked the Court of Appeal President, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa to recuse herself from the presidential election tribunal.
Justice Bulkachuwa is the Chairman of Presidential election petition tribunal.
At Wednesday’s sitting, after counsel had announced appearances, Dr Livy Uzoukwu SAN, counsel to the petitioners made an oral application for a 10-minute audience with the panel and two counsels each representing the appellants and respondents.
Efforts made by INEC’s counsel Yunus Usman to scuttle the meeting in chamber was fruitless as Wole Olanipekun SAN, who is representing Buhari confirmed to the panel that Uzoukwu had whispered to him and few other counsel about his request.
Subsequently, Chairman of the 5-man presidential election tribunal, ‘Zainab Bulkachuwa, who is the President, Court of Appeal granted the application.
After the meeting in chambers, at exactly 12noon, the panel reconvened.
Addressing the court, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Bulkachuwa said that Atiku and the PDP had demanded that she recused herself from the panel.
Justice Bulkachuwa said the petitioners alleged that there was a petition against her dated May 8.
However, on account of the petition levelled against Bulkachuwa, the PCA said, “the petition against me is in public domain, therefore the petitioners are expected to make a formal application in court, so that the tribunal will rule on it.
In view of the foregoing, counsel to Atiku and PDP, Dr Livy Uzoukwu, requested for time to file his application requesting Justice Bulkachuwa to withdraw from the panel.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has fixed May 22, for hearing of the application.
Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party represented PDP,
Nuhu Ribadu represented President Muhammadu Buhari the 2nd respondent, APC (3rd respondent) was represented by it’s National Legal Adviser
Babatunde Ogara, while Oluwatoyin Babalola, Director Legal Services represented INEC (1st respondent).
Dr Livy Uzoukwu announced legal representation for the petitioners; Yunus Ustaz Usman SAN entered appearance for INEC,
Wole Olanipekun SAN, was counsel for the 2nd respondent, while Lateef Fagbemi SAN represented the 3rd respondent (APC).