The immediate past President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, has defended her judicial integrity following a comment by her husband, former Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa, that he obtained favours from from her on behalf of his fellow senators.
Justice Bulkachuwa said she never, in her 40-year judicial career, compromised her oath of office.
The former PCA bowed out of the Bench in March 2020 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.
But the spotlight was cast on her tenure last Tuesday following the release of a video clip showing her husband making comments many interpreted as evidence of his interference in her performance of her duties as head of the country’s second highest court and possibly influencing her judicial decisions.
But repudiating the interpretation of judicial compromise on her part, Justice Bulkachuwa, in a statement dated June 17, said such insinuation was far from the truth.
The former PCA said: “My attention has been drawn to the trending video of what was said by my husband Senator Adamu M. Bulkachuwa.
“I want to state categorically that I never at any time compromised my oath of office to favour any party who appeared before me throughout my judicial career spanning 40 years of service to my country.
“My decisions were always based on the facts, the law and in accordance with my conscience and oath of office.
“Also, as President of the Court of Appeal, my fellow justices of the court can attest to the fact that I never interfered with the independence of any of the justices of the court in the discharge of their judicial functions.”
In March 2020, the former PCA told The Nation and other journalists during a valedictory service in her honour in Lagos, that she kept her husband’s politics and political career out of her home.
She said that helped her to guard against being influenced by politicians.
Justice Bulkachuwa said: “My husband is a politician, but politics is a no-go area in the house. Even my children are aware of that. No politician is invited to the house. My husband can pursue whatever he wants to pursue as a politician but we hardly discuss politics in the house. All these help to guard against any influence from any politician.”
Senator Bulkachuwa in an interview with The BBC Hausa Service on June 17, denied using his wife to influence court cases.
Ex-Senator Bulkachuwa, in the video clip which surfaced last Tuesday, spoke during the valedictory session of the ninth senate.
He claimed that he encroached on his wife’s “freedom and independence” in the course of her official duties as head of the second highest judicial office in Nigeria.
According to him, she did not rebuff him.
Bulkachuwa said: “Particularly my wife whose freedom and independence were encroached upon when she was in office. She has been tolerant and accepted my encroachment and extended it to my colleagues…”
But he was interrupted and dissuaded from continuing by outgone Senate President Ahmed Lawan.
Senator Bulkachuwa was elected to represent Bauchi North in 2019.