A group, Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG),has described as irrational, unlawful and unimaginable the call by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, to excuse herself from the Presidential Tribunal sitting.
The PDP’s Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was declared winner of the February 23 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The party premised its rejection of Justice Bulkachuwa’s membership of the panel on the grounds that her husband, Hon. Adamu Mohammed Bulkachuwa, is a Senator-elect from Bauchi State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
But MMWG) in a statement issued in Abuja Friday by its National Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, said it is unpatriotic for any Nigerian to ask Justice Bulkachuwa to step down from the Presidential Election Petition Panel on the basis of family relationship.
The group said: “The Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria wishes to condemn in unequivocal terms the call in some political quarters that the President of Court of Appeal, His Lordship Hon. Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa should step down from the Presidential Election Tribunal because her spouse his now an elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“This call is highly irrational, unlawful and unimaginable. The provision regarding constitution of the Presidential Election Tribunal is clear in the nation’s statutes. Nothing in these laws disqualifies any Judicial Officer on the basis of family relationship.
“The nation is not unaware of His Lordship Justice Mary Odili – a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and wife of Dr. Peter Odili, the former Governor of Rivers state who is also a top politician in the opposing political party. Does any law forbid her from adjudicating on any matter concerning the ruling party because her husband is in the opposing political party?
“It is therefore unpatriotic for anybody or group be it political or not to overheat the polity by raising inconsequential matter to divert the cause of justice for personal or political gains. It is also criminal to accuse a Judicial Officer of corruption when no record whatsoever proves this infraction by any court of law’’.