Four hours after, presidential tribunal drags ruling

More than four hours after it arose temporary, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal is yet to deliver a ruling on an application.

The tribunal after listening to arguments from parties involved in the matter had adjourned to reconvene by 2 pm.

However, as at the time of this report, members of the panel are yet to reappear in the courtroom. The situation has left lawyers and other people wondering what would have caused more than three hours delay.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate for the February general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had last week, filed an application against the chairman of the panel, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.

The PDP and Abubakar asked Justice Bulkachuwa, who is also the President, Court of Appeal to recuse herself from the panel over the likelihood of bias.

At the resumed sitting, Counsel to PDP and Atiku Abubakar, Levi Uzoukwu (SAN) informed the tribunal of a 19-paragraph affidavit in support of their application and a further affidavit of four paragraphs filed on May 21, containing one exhibit.

His argument was that Justice Bulkachuwa’s husband, being a Senator-elect will form a member of APC National Convention when inaugurated in June.

The counsel also referred the chairman of the tribunal to a similar judgment she delivered and called for carefulness to ensure that the institution of the judiciary is protected.

But Counsel to the first respondent (INEC), Yunus Usman (SAN), asked the tribunal to discountenance the application. He told the tribunal that a counter affidavit has been filed to that effect on May 20.

In his argument, he referred the tribunal to Section 42 of the Constitution and submitted that exhibits two to four annexed to applicants’ affidavit were of no effect.

He argued that the Constitution condemns all forms of discrimination and as such, it was wrong for the applicants to discriminate against the Justice on the basis of marriage.

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