The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have asked Chairman of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, to recuse herself from the hearing the election petition on allegations of bias.
They made the prayer at the private meeting with the panel inside the justices Chambers.
Immediately proceedings resumed, Wednesday, at the tribunal for a pre-hearing in the Atiku and PDP’s petition, their lead counsel, Dr Levi Uzoukwu (SAN), Justice Bulkachuwa sought for a private audience between lead counsel in the matter and members of the panel.
However, after reconvening, Justice Bulkachuwa in the open court ruled that the applicants should approach the court formally by filing a motion on notice.
Justice Bulkachuwa said since the request of the petitioners have been in the public domain, it would be better for the petitioners to come by way of a formal application.
Responding, Uzoukwu told the panel that the petitioners will unfailingly file their application tomorrow May 16, 2019 and sought for a short adjournment.
While counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Yunus Ustaz SAN, said they are not opposed to the application, counsel to President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said he was ready to respond to the application if the petitioners are ready to move the application orally.
He however said, if the petitioners prefer a formal application, then they will be asking for the normal 7 days provided by the law to respond.
Counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) said he aligned himself with the position of Olanipekun.
Consequently, Justice Bulkachuwa said, “Application yet to be filed is adjourned to May 22 for hearing”.
…More details later