The Chairman of Nigerian Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, has withdrawn from the tribunal. Justice Bulkachuwa withdrew from the tribunal for personal reasons after it dismissed an application by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, asking her to recuse herself from the tribunal.
The PDP and Abubakar had based their application, among other things, on the ground that Justice Bulkachuwa is the wife of Mr Adamu Bulkachuwa a prominent card-carrying member of the All Progressive Congress and Senator-elect for Bauchi north senatorial district which is a political party involved in the suit. However, in delivering the lead ruling on the application, Justice Peter Ige, said not enough materials had been presented before the court to show that Justice Bulkachuwa will be biased in the hearing and the decisions on the petition.
Justice Ige added that the fact that she is married to a Senator-elect who along with her son are in the APC will not foist any room for bias in the case. Stressing that her relationship is not capable of prejudicing the case, Justice Ige concluded that the petitioners have not satisfied the requirements for the president of the tribunal to recuse herself.
Consequently, he dismissed the application. Although Justice Bulkachuwa agreed with the lead judgment and the dismissal of the application, she said she will recuse herself for personal reasons. She explained that she insisted that the matter be heard by the full court so that in the future another female judge will not face the same thing she faced.