Tribunal Rejects LP, PDP’s Request For Live Televised Proceedings

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The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) sitting in Abuja has dismissed a request to televise its day-to-day proceedings on petitions aimed at nullifying the outcome of the highly contested 2023 presidential election.

Tribunal Rejects LP, PDP's Request For Live Televised Proceedings

The Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel deemed the application for televised hearings to lack merit.

During the court session, it was established that there was no existing regulatory framework or policy direction that allowed the court to grant such an application.

The panel emphasized that permitting cameras in the courtroom was a significant judicial policy that must be supported by law.

Justice Tsammani stated, “The court can only be guided and act in accordance with the practice directions and procedures approved by the President of the Court of Appeal. We cannot permit a situation that may lead to the dramatization of our proceedings.”

Additionally, the court highlighted that the request for televised hearings was not part of any relief sought in the petitions before it.

The court saw the request as being founded on a sentimental claim that it would benefit the electorate. The panel argued that the petitioners had failed to establish how broadcasting the proceedings would advance their case, asserting that such live broadcasts would not contribute substantively to the determination of the petitions.

The application for live coverage of the daily court proceedings was initially filed by Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP candidate’s request aimed to bring attention to the case they had brought against President-elect Bola Tinubu following the February 25 election.

Following suit, the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, also submitted a similar application, seeking televised coverage of the tribunal’s proceedings.

However, Tinubu opposed the application, describing it as an abuse of the court process.

As the court proceedings continue, it remains to be seen how this decision will impact the ongoing legal battle regarding the 2023 presidential election outcome.

The rejection of the request for televised proceedings has sparked debates among legal experts and the general public, with some advocating for greater transparency and accessibility in the electoral dispute resolution process, while others emphasize the need to uphold established court procedures.

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