By Ayo Kehinde
“I am recusing myself from the panel for personal reasons.” With that statement, President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, on Wednesday, recused herself from the 2019 Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
She said it was a personal decision in the face of overwhelming support from other five members of the panel who said they found no iota of truth in the claim of bias leveled against her by the plaintiff, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Bulkachuwa husband, Adamu Bulkachuwa, is a senator-elect from Bauchi North Senatorial District on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, the party on which her son Aliyu Abubakar, was also a governorship aspirant in the 2019 election.
The lead counsel to Atiku, Dr Livy Ozokwu had argued that her husband was a member of his party’s National Executive Council, NEC, the highest decision making organ of the party, which could prejudice her in favour of the ruling party. The PDP also latched on to a remark she made after the election to the effect that no matter the outcome of the result, politicians would always complain.
But the other members of the judges, led by Justice Olabisi Ige, said there was no established connection between what she said and her relationships and her ability to do her work judiciously.