Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic party, PDP, in the
February 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, has explained his
request to have the President of the Court of Appeal, Zainab Bulkachuwa,
recuse herself from the presidential election petition tribunal.
In a statement, Abubakar said him and his party, PDP, asked Mrs
Bulkachuwa to withdraw from the five-member panel she headed because of
her relationship with an APC leader and her husband who is a Bauchi
senator-elect on the APC platform.
The statement reads:
One of the principal maxims of the Common Law is nemo judex in causa sua
(no man shall be a judge in his own case). The call by my legal team for
Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa to recuse herself from the Presidential
Election Petition Tribunal was predicated on this principle, being that
her husband, Alhaji Mohammed Bulkachuwa, is an All Progressives Congress
Senator-elect and the case she was expected to adjudicate upon had a
bearing on that party.
My legal team’s objection was not a reflection on Justice Bulkachuwa’s
character or competence. As a matter of fact, I have great respect for
her, being a pioneer and advocate for gender equality and female
It is with this in mind that I commend Justice Bulkachuwa for recusing
herself from the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Panel hearing
my petition against the Independent National Electoral Commission and
the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, President
Her action showed courage and is an act of patriotism. She has, by this
action, increased the confidence the public have for the judiciary.
Not only do I commend her, I also pray, especially in this holy month of
Ramadan, that Justice will be done by the tribunal according to the fear
of God and not in keeping with respect for the powers that be.
May God bless the judiciary and may God bless the Federal Republic of
Presidential candidate of PDP & Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007