Nigerian Presidential Polls Court dismiss Atiku, Obi’s request for live coverage | ANG
  • May 29, 2024

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The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has dismissed the applications by the two presidential candidates of the February 25, election, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi for live broadcast of proceedings for lacking in merit.
In a unanimous ruling, the court described the application as novel and with no utilitarian value.
Besides, the Chairman of the PEPC, Justice Haruna Tsammani who delivered the judgment said the reliefs sought are outside the substance of the petitions and equally outside the jurisdiction and competence of the election tribunal as the issue raised touches on policy formation.
Besides, the court held that it cannot permit a situation that will lead to the dramatization of its proceedings.
“Allowing cameral is a major judicial policy which must be provided by rules of court, there is non yet. Avoidance of trial by ordeal of camera is better.”

“The application also touches on the powers and jurisdiction invested in the President of the Court of Appeal by the Constitution, over which this honourable court as presently constituted cannot entertain.

“The application touches on the administrative functions, which are exclusively reserved for the President of the Court of Appeal.

In an application dated May 5, 2023, Atiku and his political party,  the PDP,  are specifically praying the tribunal 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 on their behalf by their team of lawyers led by Chief Chris Uche, SAN, is predicated amongst other grounds that: The matter before the Honourable Court is a dispute over the outcome of the Presidential Election held on 25th February 2023, a matter of national concern and public interest, involving citizens and voters in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who voted and participated in the said election; and the International Community as regards the workings of Nigeria’s Electoral Process”.
They contended that being a unique electoral dispute with a peculiar constitutional dimension, it is a matter of public interest whereof millions of Nigerian citizens and voters are 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 Honourable 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.

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