The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja has fixed 2:00pm for main ruling on the application requesting the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa to step down.
During the two hours stand-down, the panel will review the arguments made by the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar asking the PCA to recuse herself and the objections made by the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) opposing the application.
Arguing the application, PDP’s lead counsel, Levy Uzoukwu (SAN), submitted that Articles 12.1 and 13.1 of the APC Constitution recognises the National Convention, which has members of the National Assembly as automatic members of the organ, which he said the husband of the PCA, Adamu Muhammad Bulkachuwa, as senator-elect from Bauchi, will become after inauguration on June 11.
But President Buhari’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said the president would never interfere in the work of the panel.
APC counsel, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) described the application as “blackmail” and “assault on the nation’s finest institution”. He said it is legally unmeritorious to ask the PCA to recuse herself.
He however added that since the PCA has had a distinguished career with a name to protect, and is set to retire in 2020, he would in his opinion ask her “to leave the matter.”
INEC counsel, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN) asked the panel to dismiss the application for offending Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution.