The Oasis Reporters
May 22, 2019
In delivering the lead ruling on the PDP and it’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar in the March 2019 election application requesting that Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa recuse herself from presiding over the case, Justice Peter Ige, said not enough materials had been presented before the court to show that Justice Bulkachuwa will be biased in the hearing and the decisions on the petition. He consequently dismissed the application.
The PDP and Atiku Abubakar had based their application, among other things, on the ground that Justice Bulkachuwa is the wife of Mr Adamu Bulkachuwa, a prominent card-carrying member of the All Progressive Congress and Senator-elect for Bauchi North Senatorial district which is a political party involved in the suit.
Justice Ige added that the fact that she is married to a Senator-elect who along with her son are in the APC were not enough grounds for bias in the case.
Stressing that her relationship is not capable of prejudicing the case, Justice Ige concluded that the petitioners have not satisfied the requirements for the president of the tribunal to recuse herself.
He therefore dismissed the application to which Justice Bulkachuwa agreed with, both the lead judgment and the dismissal of the application.
Despite that, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa decided to recuse herself from the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal for personal reason.
She explained that she insisted that the matter be heard by the full court so that in the future another female judge will not face the same thing she faced.
The PDP might count it as a moral victory of some sort, for it lost the application in the tribunal, but the object of the party’s desire was satisfied, with the withdrawal of the jurist from the court