The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Court of Appeal to timeously replace its president, Zainab Bulkachuwa, in the presidential panel to avoid a delay in the prosecution of their petition.
The PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are challenging the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the just concluded presidential elections in Nigeria.
The opposition party had accused Mrs Bulkachuwa of having the likelihood of bias, causing the Court of Appeal President to quit as head of the election tribunal on May 22.
In a letter from the head of the PDP’s legal team, Levy Uzoukwu, the party is asking the court to avoid further delays in the hearing of the petition by replacing Mrs Bulkachuwa in the shortest possible time.
According to the letter, dated May 31, the party is asking the court to consider the constitutionally specified days for the hearing of the petition and act to avoid frustrating the matter.
“Considering the strict requirements of keeping to the constitutional calendar for petition and the obvious fact that time is also running fast against the petitioner’s, we pray my lord to act timeously in appointing a replacement so that we will get a hearing notice and continue with the petition in the interest of justice,” the PDP said in its letter written by a lawyer with Mr Ozoukwu’s chamber, Joseph Onu, on behalf of the petitioners.
According to the provisions of the constitution, Mr Abubakar’s petition is supposed to be concluded with 180 days after it was filed.
Dated March 18, it is already 77 days since the petition was written and filed at the tribunal.