Presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has won his first battle at the Appeal Court with the decision of Justice Zainadine Bulkachuwa to recuse herself from the Presidential Election Tribunal.
Bulkachuwa’s decision to step down, National Daily gathered may not be unconnected with a petition by the opposition party that she would be biased in handling proceedings since she is married to an All Progressives Congress Senator, Mohammed Bulkachuwa.
In the letter signed by Uche Secondus, national chairman of the party, and Umaru Tsauri, national secretary, the party said Bulkachuwa’s husband, Adamu Bulkachuwa, contested and won the Bauchi north senatorial district election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the February 23, 2019 poll.
“My Lord, it is no more a secret, that your dear husband, Hon. Adamu Mohammed Bulkachuwa, contested the February 23, 2019 election for the position of Senator in Bauchi North Senatorial district and won same on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the petition read.
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“This fear was pDalpable enough just with you as the President of the Court of Appeal but has now been worsened and compounded by the discovery that you have decided to appoint yourself as chairman of the Panel to hear the petition.
“Furthermore, My Lord, in your address at the opening of the pre-hearing, you made some remarks that were both frightening and heartwarming. For instance, in your opening paragraph you said: ‘Elections are held in Nigeria every four years into elective positions. No matter how well the election is conducted, there are bound to be complaints…’
“This remark rocked our confidence in a panel led by Your Lordship to determine our fate in an election which could be one of the ones that were very well ‘conducted’ in Your Lordship’s opinion. The question then is how can a petitioner convince Your Lordship otherwise over an election, which in Your Lordship’s opinion, was very well ‘conducted’?
“We are reasoning that, armed with this golden rule of justice and fair hearing and given your direct intimacy, through your dear husband, with the APC, one of the parties in this election petition, Your Lordship, would have exercised your constitutional right and powers guardedly, judiciously and judicially, by excluding yourself from the panel of this honourable court’s sitting over this particular petition.”
The party said it lacks confidence in Bulkachuwa, saying it would be difficult to convince Nigerians that she is neutral.