Presidential election court dismisses calls for live broadcast of proceedings by PDP, Labour Party

Presidential election court dismisses calls for live broadcast of proceedings by PDP, Labour Party

The Presidential Election Petition Court, sitting in Abuja, has dismissed a request for live broadcasting of the court’s proceedings as requested by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

The court’s Presiding Justice (PJ), Justice Haruna Tsammani, stated that such conduct was not permitted by law and could not be implemented by the court until the required legislative procedures were in place.

Justice Tsammani, who read the lead-ruling of the unanimous decision of the tribunal, stated that the issue of whether or not hearings should be live streamed is a policy concern that can only be implemented by the Judiciary or the President of the Court of Appeal.

In his ruling, Justice Tsammani held that fair hearing of court proceedings “does not amount to conducting court sittings on television or in a stadium.”

“The request (for a live broadcast of the court proceedings) has no utilitarian value. Live broadcast of court proceedings has no provisions in our statutory books,” Mr Tsammani noted. “There is nowhere in the constitution and Electoral Act for televising court sittings.”

“Live broadcast of proceedings is a judicial policy,” he said.

Mr Tsammani said, “We cannot permit a procedure that dramatises the court’s proceedings.

“This application is devoid of merit and it is accordingly dismissed,” the court said.

Recall that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku and Labour Party’s Mr Obi had approached the Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, to allow a live broadcast of its sessions.

However, Mr Tinubu and the APC opposed the application while arguing that “the court of law must and should always be a serene, disciplined, hallowed, tranquil, honourable and decorous institution and place.

“It is not a rostrum or a soapbox. It is not also a stadium or theatre. It is not an arena for ‘public’ entertainment.

With much respect to the petitioners, the motion is an abuse of the processes of this honourable court,” Mr Tinubu contended.

APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, also called on the court to reject the requests of the opposition candidates.

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