Emerging reports by Premium Times have claimed that president of the Court of Appeal, Zainab Bulkachuwa, has withdrawn from the presidential election petition tribunal.
The Peoples Democratic Party had asked Justice Bulkachuwa to recuse herself because she is married to a senator-elect of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party is challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February presidential election.
Bulkachuwa’s husband is a senator-elect of the ruling APC, a ground upon which Abubakar and the PDP asked her to recuse herself.
The judge reportedly announced her decision to recuse herself on Wednesday, May 22, despite the panel ruling against the PDP.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the presidential election petitions tribunal adjourned till 2pm on Wednesday, May 22, for ruling on the application brought by the PDP and Atiku asking Justice Bulkachuwa to disqualify herself from the panel.
Counsels from both parties, the APC and the PDP, deliberated on the application for Justice Bulkachuwa to recuse herself from the election tribunal.
While the PDP stood its grounds based on Justice Bulkachuwa’s culpable affiliation to the APC by virtue of her husband and son's membership of the party, the APC and INEC based their arguments on conventions and gender.
Lead counsel to President Buhari, Wole Olanipekun, submitted that the president of Court of Appeal and chairman of the panel, Justice Bulkachuwa, is at liberty to withdraw from the panel or not to.
Olanipekun states that Section 237 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) (the Constitution) creates the Court of Appeal, while section 237 (2) (a) of the Constitution establishes the office of the president of the Court of Appeal.
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