Atiku, PDP write Bulkachuwa over delayed tribunal hearing - Breaking News in Nigeria today 247 | TheWatchNGR


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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Atiku, PDP write Bulkachuwa over delayed tribunal hearing

The legal team of the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,  is disturbed by  the continued delay in replacing the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, on the five-man panel of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

Worried that a replacement had yet to be provided for her on the panel over one week after her withdrawal, according to the petitioners they had written to the President of the Court of Appeal expressing their concern over the delay.

Justice Bulkachuwa has the  exclusive power to appoint a judge of the court to serve on the tribunal’s panel.

The petitioners’ lead counsel, Dr Liy Uzoukwu  (SAN), confirmed his team had written to  Justice Bulkachuwa to remind her of her promise to appoint her replacement.

Ozoukwu  told our correspondent on the telephone that the letter was “delivered at the President of the Court of Appeal’s office on Friday  morning”.

He said, “I am not aware of any new development. We have not been served with any hearing notice. But we have written to the President of the Court of Appeal to remind  her  of  her  promise to bring in  a replacement, having recused herself.  It  is yet to be fulfilled. That is where we are.

“We are waiting to see what will  happen, having done that.”

Asked if they  were worried about the delay in the appointment of Justice Bulkachuwa’s replacement, Uzoukwu said, “Of course, we are bound to be.”

Justice Bulkachuwa was heading the panel until May 22 when she withdrew her membership following an allegation of  the likelihood of bias levelled against her by  Atiku and his party based on her family ties to some  top members of the All Progressives Congress.

The petitioners had filed their petition before the tribunal to challenge the victory of the APC and its presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, in  the February 23 poll.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, Buhari and the APC are the three respondents to the petition.

By  Sunday, Atiku and his party would  have lost 76 out of the 180 days within which their  petition is required to be heard and determined by the  tribunal.
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