Presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has commended Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa for recusing herself from the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Panel.
Justice Bulkachuwa, the President of Court of Appeal, had on Wednesday stepped down as the Chairman of 2019 Presidential Election Petition Tribunal hearing the petition against the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said that she took the decision for personal reasons and to avoid a situation where another female Justice will face same issues presented to the court.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar on 16th of May 2019 filed a motion asking an order to ensure that Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa be recused from further sitting of the tribunal or participating in the proceedings in the petition and be replaced by another Justice of the Appeal Court.
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They also averred that Justice Bulakchuwa is the biological mother to Aliyu Haidar-Abubakar a prominent card-carrying member of the All Progressive Congress.
It further averred that being the wife and mother of prominent card-carrying members of the APC which is the third respondent in the petition before the tribunal, there is every likelihood of bias if Justice Bulkachuwa remains as a member of the panel.
Reacting to her decision to step down, the former vice president in a release made available toNational Daily on Thursday said the call by his legal team for Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa to recuse herself from the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal was not a reflection on Justice Bulkachuwa’s character or competence.
“As a matter of fact, I have great respect for her, being a pioneer and advocate for gender equality and female empowerment. It is with this in mind that I commend Justice Bulkachuwa for recusing herself from the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Panel hearing my petition against the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Her action showed courage and is an act of patriotism. She has, by this action, increased the confidence the public have for the judiciary.
“Not only do I commend her, I also pray, especially in this holy month of Ramadan, that Justice will be done by the tribunal according to the fear of God and not in keeping with respect for the powers that be,” he said.
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