Buhari vs Atiku: What happened in court on Friday as PDP, Atiku make revelations

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Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have told the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, PEPT, sitting in Abuja that Aliyu Haidar Abubakar, son of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, worked for and supported the Presidential candidate of the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari prior to the February 23 presidential election.

The PDP and Atiku alleged that Abubakar was a card-carrying member of the APC and also contested the party’s governorship primary election in Gombe State.

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The opposition party and its candidate told the tribunal that they had attached the Facebook printout of the wall of the said biological son of Bulkachuwa showing his campaign posts, photographs and posters canvassing votes for himself as a governorship aspirant and Buhari’s re-election bid to their motion as an exhibit.

According to them, as previously stated in the letter which the PDP on May 9 sent to the judge’s office, that her husband, Adamu Bulkachuwa, won a senatorial seat in the National Assembly poll, held alongside the February 23 election, on the platform of the APC.

Atiku and PDP therefore stated in a motion filed before the five-man tribunal that the judge’s close family members being top APC members would hinder her from handling the proceedings of the tribunal without bias.

They said that the judge must step aside as a member and head of the tribunal.

They demanded her replacement on the panel, urging her to recuse herself from further participation in the proceedings of the tribunal.

The affidavit deposed to by Emmanuel Agbo, the Deputy National Secretary of the PDP, Emmanuel Agbo, filed in support of the motion read in part, “I know that as a spouse of Adamu Bulkachuwa, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa is so closely related to Adamu Bulkachuwa that she cannot fairly hear and determine the instant petition without eliciting the suspicion and anxiety of all right thinking persons, including myself.

“The Court of Appeal has more than 80 justices who are able and competent to participate in the hearing and determination of the extant petition in the absence of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.

“I also know that her biological son, Aliyu Haidar Abubakar is a card-carrying member of the 3rd respondent (APC) and he contested the governorship primary election of the 3rd respondent in Gombe State.

“Attached hereto and marked Exhibit 2 is a printout made today from the Facebook page named Aliyu Haidar Abubakar Volunteer Group containing his campaign posters, photographs and various posts showing his campaign messages for himself and the 2nd respondent, both of whom contested on the platform of the 3rd respondent.

“I also attach hereto and marked Exhibit 3 a printout of a Daily Post online news publication in which Aliyu Abubakar was prominently featured as the son of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa and who contested the governorship primary of Gombe State on the platform of the 3rd respondent.”

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The PDP and Atiku further informed the Tribunal that Bauchi State, which was one of the three senatorial districts Bulkachuwa’s husband would be representing at the Senate when sworn in, “is one of the focal states in which the petitioners/applicants have all alleged that electoral infractions occurred.”

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