The Presidential Election Petitions Court has refused the application for live transmission of proceedings as made by the petitioners in the court.
In a unanimous ruling on the interlocutory applications, the five-member panel of justices held that the request was novel and hinges on policy decisions, which can only be made by the judiciary administrators.
Both the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi had separately argued that the live transmission of the proceedings had become necessary due to the public interest and concern generated by the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
In the lead ruling, the chairman of the panel, Justice Haruna Tsammani held that the applications lacked merit.
The chairman observed that the applications, which were hinged on sections 36(3) and 39 of the Nigerian constitution and paragraph 19 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2022, which borders on fair hearing, were outside the provisions of the concept and outside the claims brought by the petitioners for the determination of the court.
He said fair hearing involved hearing both parties and providing equal opportunity to present their cases before the court and not to dramatise the trial through installing cameras in the courtroom.
“The mere sentimental claim that it (live broadcast of proceedings) will benefit the voters has no utilitarian value to the matters presented before this court,” he said.
For her part, Justice Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf said nobody could predict the implication of live broadcast of the proceedings, adding, “It is better for the avoidance of the trial by ordeal of live cameras in court.”
The court also fixed today to present the report of its pre-hearing proceedings.
The major issues to be decided by the court include the consolidation of the petitions brought against APC and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
The petitions are those of the APM and its presidential candidate, Chichi Ojei; PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar; and LP and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
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