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Atiku, PDP Seek Live Broadcast Of Court Proceedings

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP)  Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has approached the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) seeking an order allowing live broadcast of proceedings of his petition. 

Atiku and the PDP in an application dated May 5, is specifically praying the court for an order directing the court’s registry and the parties on modalities for admission of media practitioners and their equipment into the courtroom.

The application filed by their team of lawyers led by Mr Chris Uche, SAN, is premised on the grounds  that the matter before the court is a dispute over the outcome of the Presidential Election held on  Feb. 25 and therefore  a matter of national concern and public interest.

They also contended that being a unique electoral dispute with a peculiar constitutional dimension, it was a matter of public interest where millions of Nigerians were stakeholders with a constitutional right to receive. 

“An integral part of the constitutional duty of the court to hold proceedings in public is a discretion to allow public access to proceedings either physically or by electronic means.

“With the huge and tremendous technological advances and developments in Nigeria and beyond, including the current trend by this court towards embracing electronic procedures, virtual hearing and electronic filing, a departure from the rules to allow a regulated televising of the proceedings in this matter is in consonance with the maxim that justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done. 

“Televising court proceedings is not alien to this court, and will enhance public confidence.”

The African examiner recalls that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), had in its communique at the end of its National Executive Committee meeting in Birnin Kebbi on March 23 made a similar call.

 The NBA  had urged the judiciary to allow for live broadcast of court hearings on election petitions, particularly the presidential election cases.

 Also, a group, under the aegis of Leaders of Thoughts and Legal Icons, had supported the initiative.

 The group had invited Nigerians to sign an appeal an  online platform in support of the initiative.

Mr  Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer also  backed calls for live broadcast of election petition trials.

 No date has been fixed for hearing of the  application. 

African examiner reports that the tribunal  began pre-hearing in the petitions challenging the outcome of the Feb. 25 presidential election.The Independent National Electoral Commission declared that Sen, Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress polled 8,794,726 votes to win the election.

The commission declared that Atiku came second with  6,984,520 votes, while it announced Labour Party’s Peter Obi as the second runner-up with  6,101,533 votes.

But Atiku, Obi and some other parties rejected the results announced by INEC and had approached the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to annul Tinubu’s victory.

African examiner also reports that Atiku, in his  66-page petition, is praying the tribunal to declare him winner of the poll or order a fresh election.

On his part, Obi, in his petition, is also praying the tribunal to nullify Tinubu’s election.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=87764

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