…By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
The Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja has dismissed a request to televise its daily proceedings on the petitions challenging the 2023 presidential election results.
The court, presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani, ruled that the application lacked merit and there was no existing regulatory framework or policy that allowed for such a request.
Justice Tsammani emphasized that allowing cameras in the courtroom required legal backing and stated, “We cannot permit a situation that may lead to dramatization of our proceedings.”
The court further argued that the request was not part of any relief sought in the petitions and was based solely on a sentimental claim of public interest.
The petitioners, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), initially requested live coverage, considering the case as a matter of national concern and public interest.
However, the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) called on the court to dismiss the application, labeling it as an abuse of the legal process.
Tinubu and his Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, accused Atiku of trying to subject the judiciary to public criticism.
They argued that the court should not serve as a platform for public entertainment but rather as a serious legal institution.
The APC also stated that the presidential election was not a matter of national concern and highlighted the well-managed conduct of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Additionally, the APC expressed concerns that live coverage would sensationalize the proceedings and subject them to undue social media trial.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also objected to the live broadcast of the proceedings, aligning with the court’s decision to dismiss the request for televised coverage.
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