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Tribunal: PDP, Atiku ask Justice Bulkachuwa to recuse self, as security personnel prevent protesters

President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa
President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar have asked the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa to recuse herself from conducting the election petitions hearing.

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal had set the day’s proceeding on pre-hearing of the petitions by both PDP and Atiku in the petition filed on March 18 challenging the February 23 presidential elections.

As the matter was about to resume on Wednesday morning, Levy Uzoukwu, leading 26 Senior Advocates of Nigeria and other lawyers on behalf of the PDP and Atiku requested the panel presided by Justice Bulkachuwa to grant him 10 minutes audience to raise some important issues.

The panel subsequently decided to grant audience in chambers outside the courtroom to two senior lawyers each for Buhari led by Wole Olanipekun, Lateef Fagbemi for APC, and Yunus Ustaz Usman for INEC.

It was at that meeting that that Daily Trust gathered the PDP lawyers raised the issue of Justice Bulkachuwa recusing herself as a result of her husband being a senator-elect on the platform of the APC.

A lawyer representing APC in the matter said the senior lawyer would not be opposing the request.

The meeting is still ongoing at the PCA Chambers.

Meanwhile, the security personnel cordoned roads leading to the Court of Appeal in Abuja to prevent persons from staging protests against the continued involvement of the PCA, Justice Bulkachuwa in the presidential election petitions.

A Chief Superintendent of Police, who pleaded anonymity told Daily Trust that the decision was to maintain sanity at the tribunal’s sitting.

“It is a national duty to maintain sanity because any of the political parties might decide to take matters out of hand and anything can happen,” he said.

It would be recalled that placard-carrying PDP supporters were at the premises at the inaugural session of the tribunal in solidarity.

Also, PDP staff on Monday protested against Justice Bulkachuwa’s involvement at the tribunal.

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