Court Rules Against Live Streaming Of Tribunal Proceedings
The Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja on Monday dismissed a request to televise its daily proceedings on petitions seeking to overturn the 2023 presidential election results.
Justice Haruna Tsammani’s five-member panel rejected the application, brought by the two key candidates challenging the election results, as lacking merit.
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The court ruled that no existing regulatory framework or policy allowed it to approve such a request. It stated that allowing cameras in the courtroom requires legal backing as a major judicial policy.
“We cannot permit a situation that may lead to dramatization of our proceedings,” Justice Tsammani declared.
The court argued that the request was not part of any relief in the petitions and was based merely on a sentimental claim of public interest.
It also emphasized that the petitioners failed to demonstrate how televising proceedings would benefit their case.
Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) initially requested live coverage, arguing that the case was a “matter of monumental national concern and public interest”.
However, both the President-elect, Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) called on the court to dismiss the application, which they described as an abuse of the legal process.
Tinubu and his Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, accused Atiku of attempting to expose the judiciary to public criticism.
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They argued that the court “is not a rostrum or a soapbox. It is not also a stadium or theatre. It is not an arena for public entertainment.”
The APC, led by Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, told the court that the presidential election “is not subject matter of any national concern” and argued that the election was well managed by INEC, with millions of voters participating.
The APC also expressed concern that live coverage “will subject the proceedings of the court to unnecessary sensationalism and undue social media trial.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also objected to the live broadcast of the proceedings.