Police Barricade All Roads to Presidential Election Tribunal

0

Alex Enumah in Abuja

The police on Wednesday barricaded all roads leading to the Court of Appeal, Abuja, venue of the presidential election petition tribunal, forcing commuters around the Federal Secretariat and Force headquarters to seek alternative routes.

The blockade may not be unconnected with the call by the Peoples Democratic Party on the chairman of the five member panel, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, to recuse herself from the petition over allegations of bias.

Recall also that at the inaugural sitting of the panel, scores of protesters had besieged the venue of the tribunal, with placards urging the tribunal to do justice in the matter.

At about 9.20am when our Correspondent got to the venue, stern looking policemen and officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) had cordoned off the area, screening and interrogating anyone seeking to access the tribunal.

Journalists with ID cards were however given access to the premises including robed legal practitioners.

As at the time of filing this report, already seated at the tribunal are PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, representing Buhari.

(10:34 am)

Chairman of the Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, presides at pre-hearing of Atiku’s petition.

Recall that the PDP had asked her to recuse herself from the hearing of the petition over allegations of bias.

PDP had saud it had lost confidence in her because of a statement she made at the inuagural session, when she stated that no matter how good the conduct of an election, there will always be complaint.

(10:36 am)

Lead counsel to Atiku, sought leave of court for a meeting of counsel of petitioners and respondents with the panel inside the justices Chambers (private meeting).

The request was accordingly granted and the court has adjourned till after the meeting.

10:52)

Though details of the meeting was not made public, however findings showed it may not be unconnected with the petition of the PDP asking Justice Bulkachuwa to step aside from hearing the petitions.