Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed worries that the president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, is yet to replace herself in his election petition matter.
In a letter by a legal team representing him and his vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, Atiku called on Bulkachuwa to without any further delay name her replacement in the five-man panel constituted to hear the petition.
Atiku and his party, PDP are challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February 23 election.
Despite the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal’s dismissal of Atiku and PDP’s motion seeking Justice Bulkachuwa’s withdrawal from the panel, on the claim that she was likely going to be bias, the Court of Appeal President, had still recused herself as the tribunal’s chairman on personal grounds.
She had, however, not appointed her replacement since withdrawing from the matter.
In a letter by the Atiku-Obi presidential election petition legal team, dated May 31, and signed by Silas Joseph Onu, Atiku asked Justice Bulkachuwa to appoint her replacement so that the tribunal will begin proceedings in their petition.
“I am one of the counsel in the legal team prosecuting the above petition on behalf of the petitioners.
“l have the authority of the lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN) to write this letter.
“My Lord will recall that on 22nd May 2019, the above mentioned petition came up for a motion requesting that my Lord to recuse himself from further presiding or participating in this petition.
“At the end of the proceedings, my Lord graciously recused himself on personal grounds and promised to appoint another Justice to continue with the petition.
“My Lord, it is 9 (nine) days since the date my Lord recused himself and nothing has been heard regarding the replacement that was to be made thereafter.
“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 timeously in appointing a replacement so that we will get a hearing notice and continue with the petition in the interest of justice,” the letter which journalists sighted in Abuja at the weekend read.
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