The Presidency has responded to demands by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the recusal of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, the President of the Court of Appeal, over allegations of possible bias.
Backstory: Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, who spoke on behalf of the presidency, and in defense of Bulkachuwa urged the PDP to desist from “attacking judges” and smearing the reputation of the judiciary.
Garba Shehu describes the statement as a “smack of insincerity, double standard, and mischief.” The presidency’s statement reads in part:
- “(PDP should) stop dragging the presidency into their current sponsored media smear campaign against the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa
- “You (PDP) can’t use a fake security report to drag the presidency into a smear campaign against the President of the Court of Appeal.”
Bottomline: The strong defense of Justice Bulkachuwa and the judicial institution by the Buhari presidency would come as a surprise to most observers. Was it not under this administration that judges were raided at night without warrants? Was it not the same presidency that replaced the former Chief Justice without recourse to the constitution? This strong rebuke of the opposition concerning the “attack” on the judiciary is perhaps a clear indication that the presidential villa should look into the mirror.