The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, on Wednesday toed the path of honour by withdrawing as a member of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, following allegations of likelihood of bias leveled against her by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Interestingly, the five-man panel of the tribunal, in a unanimous ruling dismissed PDP’s request for her to recuse herself, but Bulkachuwa rose above the fray and said she was withdrawing for “personal reasons.”
Justice Olabisi Ige held in the lead judgement that the relationship between Justice Bulkachuwa and her husband, Adamu Bulkachuwa, who is a senator-elect, and her son Aliyu Abubakar, a governorship aspirant, both on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, was not strong enough to lead to the conclusion that Justice Bulkachuwa would be biased in her handling the petition before the tribunal.
Shockingly, all the members of the panel, including Justice Bulkachuwa, agreed with Ige.
However, Justice Bulkachuwa ultimately said, “I am recusing myself from the panel for personal reasons.”
According to her, a new presiding Justice would be appointed for the panel, but that the four remaining members of the panel would continue with the hearing of the preliminary applications pending the appointment of the new head of the panel.