Justice Haruna Tsammani, who presides over the five-member panel of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), has deferred the ruling on the request made by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for live coverage of the court proceedings.
News About Nigeria reports that through arguments presented by the lawyers representing the respective parties, Justice Tsammani announced that the court would provide its ruling at a later date.
During the proceedings, Chris Uche (SAN), the lawyer representing the petitioners, passionately implored the court to grant their request for live televised coverage.
However, legal representatives for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President-elect Bola Tinubu, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) urged the court to reject the application.
INEC’s representative, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), Tinubu’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), and the APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), criticized the application, deeming it absurd and an attempt to diminish the solemn duties of the court.
They argued that the court had already fulfilled the constitutional requirement by ensuring extensive media presence and installing large television screens in the court’s foyer, enabling the public to closely follow the proceedings.
Justice Tsammani expressed his intent to deliberate further on the matter and announce the ruling at a later time.
The court recognized the importance of the request for live coverage and the interests of transparency and public access to the proceedings.
However, the court also acknowledged the concerns raised by the opposing parties regarding the potential disruption and trivialization of its solemn duties.
The lawyer for the petitioners contended that live coverage would ensure a wider reach and allow the public to witness the proceedings firsthand.
It was argued that granting the request would uphold the principles of openness, accountability, and democratic values.
Conversely, the legal representatives for INEC, President-elect Bola Tinubu, and the APC opposed the application, asserting that the court had already taken significant measures to accommodate public access.
The installation of large television screens in the court’s foyer and the presence of a substantial media contingent were cited as evidence of the court’s commitment to transparency.
They raised concerns about the potential disruption that live coverage could introduce, asserting that it may shift the focus from the substantive issues of the case and trivialize the court’s solemn proceedings.
The lawyers emphasized the need to maintain the decorum and integrity of the court, safeguarding its role in the resolution of the petition.