The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), and All Progressives Congress (APC) are currently in disagreement regarding whether the media should broadcast live proceedings of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. A ruling on this matter is expected today.
The PDP and LP argue that broadcasting the court sessions live would address any doubts about the transparency of the judiciary and ensure fairness in the process.
On the other hand, the APC opposes this stance, claiming that live broadcasting would not contribute to enhancing justice.
The PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who came second in the February 25 election, have formally requested that the tribunal’s sessions be broadcast live in order to keep the Nigerian public informed about the proceedings.
In their application, Atiku and the PDP, represented by their lawyer Chris Uche, have specifically asked the court to establish guidelines for media practitioners and their equipment inside the courtroom.
The LP and its candidate, Peter Obi, have submitted a similar application, stating that as stakeholders, Nigerians deserve real-time information about the election petition proceedings.
However, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the president-elect, and the APC strongly oppose these applications, deeming them unnecessary.
They argue that the matter pertains to court policy formulation, which falls outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
The counsel for the APC, Lateef Fagbemi, has advised the court against turning the proceedings into “a Big Brother electoral series.”
Furthermore, the president-elect’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, has cautioned that if live broadcasting is approved, it could potentially expose judges and lawyers to various risks and dangers.
Ahead of the ruling, Obi insists on live broadcasting, stating, “We are in the modern age where transparency is required. An election is being disputed by four political parties. To be fair and for equity, it is very much expected that processes are steamed live for people to follow.”
The spokesperson of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, and the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, have jointly called for a live broadcast of the proceedings. They argue that it is crucial for the public to have the opportunity to witness the events unfold, emphasizing that such transparency aligns with democratic principles.
On the other hand, Festus Keyamo, the Chief Spokesman for the dissolved Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, maintains a different viewpoint. He asserts that the matter should be resolved through the judicial system rather than being subjected to public opinion. Keyamo urges everyone to exercise patience and await the court’s decision on the issue.
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