Atiku vs Buhari: Tribunal to resume hearing after Bulkachuwa’s withdrawal
By Jimoh Mubarak
4 days ago
The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal will resume sitting on the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 election.
The hearing notices to this effect have been issued to all parties to the petition, according to The Sun newspapers.
DAILY POST reported earlier that the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, withdrew her participation in the hearing of the petition and this led to the delay.
Bulkachuwa’s withdrawal from the five-man panel was based on the allegation of bias levelled against her by the PDP and Atiku.
Bulkachuwa said she decided to stand down from the tribunal for “personal reasons” even after the tribunal had in a unanimous ruling dismissed the application.
Atiku and PDP had last week, written to Bulkachuwa reminding her of her promise to appoint a replacement on the panel to enable the hearing of their petition to resume following the delay.
There are indications that Justice Bulkachuwa has now appointed another judge as her replacement on the five-man panel to hear the case.
The petition, which was signed by a lawyer in their legal team, Silas Onu, stated that as of May 31 when the letter was delivered at Bulkachuwa’s chambers, it was nine days since she recused herself from the tribunal, yet nothing had been heard about her replacement. The letter read in part: “Considering the strict requirement of keeping to the constitutional calendar for a petition and the obvious fact that time is also running fast against the petitioners, we pray my Lord to act by appointing a replacement so that we will get a hearing notice and continue with the petition in the interest of justice.”
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