- President Buhari said he was not aware Justice Bulkachuwa's son campaigned for him
- This was in reaction to a motion filed by the PDP to disqualify Bulkachuwa from presiding over the presidential election tribunal
- The PDP had accused Bulkachuwa of possible bias, citing the position of her husband and son as members of the APC
- The president said the petitioner, however, failed to prove that Justice Bulkachuwa was bias as the president of the court
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, May 22, told the presidential election tribunal sitting in Abuja that he did not know that the son of the president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, Aliyu Haidar Abubakar, campaigned for him.
Buhari said he only realized that Abubakar was his supporter when he got the copy of the motion the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar filed, Vanguard reports.
The motion was filed to disqualify Bulkachuwa from presiding over the election tribunal sitting on the case to determine whether the president won his re-election or not.
In a written affidavit Buhari filed to counter Atiku’s motion, the president said the PDP’s candidate failed to prove that Justice Bulkachuwa showed any form of partiality against them ever since the petition challenging his re-election was filed.
The president who was represented by a team of lawyers on Wednesday, May 22, also said that ever since he won his election, he has never in any way influenced the membership of any judicial panel.
He said has never dabbled with any selection “whether the panel is adjudicating on election petitions relating to the office of president, governor, national or state Assembly, or sitting in any civil or criminal matter howsoever”.
The legal team said: “Having said that, and bearing in mind the sole issue distilled for determination by the respondent supra, it is the Respondent’s humble submission that whether or not the honourable President of the Court of Appeal should recuse herself from further sitting or participating in the proceedings in this petition and be replaced by another justice of this honourable court to sit in his place to hear and determine petition, as prayed by the petitioners, is within the prerogative and discretion of the honourable President of the Court of Appeal.
“What is to be taken into consideration in coming to one decision or the other in respect of the application is also within the exclusive discretion of the honourable president.
“This is not a decision that can be dictated to her by either the petitioners or respondent or any of their counsel. When it comes to matter of discretion, the judge or justice involved is the sole determinant."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the PDP on Monday, May 20, expressed certainty of victory for Atiku Abubabar at the presidential election tribunal, provided the panel is impartial in the court proceedings.
The PDP maintains that the election was won by Atiku, but that instead of upholding his mandate, the presidency and the APC “are busy harassing our leaders and bringing up frivolous allegations against our candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in a bid to distract us from the petition pending before the tribunal."
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng: Same great journalism, upgraded for better service!
2019 Election: Atiku heads to court to contest election result, can he win? | Legit TV