Buhari v Atiku: Leave Bulkachuwa alone – Nwabueze – The Nation Newspaper

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An All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Abia State, Engr. Nwabueze Onwuneme, has expressed concern that some Nigerians have joined former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, to suggest that because some family members of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, are members of the APC, the honourable justice should not be a member of or the chairperson of Presidential Election Petition Tribunal and that she must recuse herself from further participation in the proceedings of the tribunal. Onwuneme, the APC candidate in the last State House of Assembly Election for Umuahia North Constituency seat, said such reasoning is unfortunate, given that “Bulkachuwa’s reputation as a fearless and erudite justice is well known. “Besides, if all the judges and justices have to recuse themselves from the election petition tribunals once it is ascertained that some of their relations and friends happen to be card-carrying members or contested elections on the platform of any of the contending political parties, then, there would be no judge left to participate in any of the trials in both state and national election petition tribunals. The truth is that there is no judge in Nigeria today that does not have a close relation who is a card-carrying member of either PDP or APC.” Read also: Presidential election dispute: Why we don’t want Bulkachuwa —Atiku, PDP “The two parties are so big today and so widely spread that we all have friends and close family members in them. So, the argument that Bulkachuwa must not be part of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal just because her husband and son belong to a party of their choice is not fair and reasonable.” “I think Nigerians should be perceptive enough to know when politicians simply set out to cause confusion in the polity. I will advise PDP and APC and their candidates in the last election to base their arguments at the tribunals on the issue of who won the election and who lost the election. Attempts to trivialise the matter, as PDP and Alhaji Atiku seem to have done with this argument, will not help anybody,” Nwabueze said.” It would be recalled that PDP and their candidate had demanded Bulkachuwa’s removal and replacement on the grounds that her son, Aliyu Haidar Abubakar, contested the governorship primary in their state on the APC platform; that he campaigned for President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the February 23 presidential poll and that Bulkachuwa’s husband, Adamu Bulkachuwa, won a senatorial seat in the National Assembly poll held alongside the February 23 election, on the platform of the APC. According to Nwabueze, “The issue before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal is too serious to be trivialised in this manner. Please let us leave Bulkachuwa and the other members of the tribunal to do their job.”