The request to televise the daily proceedings of the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja, has been dismissed by the court. The application was brought by two key candidates contesting the election results, but was deemed to lack merit by Justice Haruna Tsammani' s five- member panel.
According to THE GUADIAN, the court, in its ruling, stated that there is no existing regulatory framework or policy that allows for the approval of such a request. Justice Tsammani emphasized that allowing cameras in the courtroom requires legal backing and is a significant judicial policy. He further declared, " We cannot permit a situation that may lead to dramatization of our proceedings. "
The court reasoned that the request was not part of any relief sought in the petitions and was based solely on a sentimental claim of public interest. Additionally, the petitioners failed to demonstrate how televising the proceedings would benefit their case.
Earlier, the candidates, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), had requested live coverage, asserting that the case was of " monumental national concern and public interest. " However, the President- elect, Bola Tinubu, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) urged the court to dismiss the application, labeling it an abuse of the legal process.
Tinubu and his Vice President- elect, Kashim Shettima, accused Atiku of attempting to expose the judiciary to public criticism. They argued that the court is not a platform for public entertainment and should not be subject to sensationalism or social media trials.
The APC, represented by Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, contended that the presidential election is not a matter of national concern. They asserted that the election was well managed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with millions of voters participating.
The APC also expressed concerns that live coverage could lead to unnecessary sensationalism and undue social media trials, potentially undermining the integrity of the court proceedings.
Even the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) objected to the live broadcast of the proceedings. They join the ranks of those opposing the request for televised coverage.
As it stands, the Presidential Election Petition Court has ruled against the request for live televised proceedings. The court stressed the need for a legal framework and policy to support such a move, while highlighting the absence of any demonstrated benefit to the petitioners' cases. The decision ensures that the proceedings will continue without the added element of live broadcast
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