May 29, 2019 News
The President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, has indicated that a female senior judge will be drafted to preside over the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
Justice Bulkachuwa dropped the hint shortly after stepping down as the head following pressure from the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to recuse herself from the tribunal over her husband’s position as a senator-elect of the APC.
Justice Bulkachuwa joked that she hoped the parties would not accuse the next female judge of “bias”.
Sources at the Court of Appeal say the second most senior judge, Justice Monica Dongban-Menssem of the Enugu Division of the court may resume on the panel.
The next most senior female judge is Justice Morenike Ogunwumiju of Benin Division.
It was gathered that there are no plans to reconstitute the panel which has Justices Abdu Aboki, Peter Ige, Samuel Oseji and Joseph Ikyegh as members.
Justice Bulkachuwa opted to withdraw from the panel for “personal reasons” despite a unanimous decision of the panel dismissing Atiku and PDP’s application, which they said was without proof and against Section 42 of the Nigerian Constitution which prohibited gender discrimination.