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Presidential Poll: Reasons Why Tribunal Rejected Live Coverage



According to Punch, the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC) yesterday in Abuja rejected a request to allow the live broadcast of its ongoing proceedings on petitions to annul the result of the February 25, 2023, presidential election.

The five-member panel, led by Judge Haruna Tsammani, rejected the application of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); and Mr.Peter Obi of the Labor Party, LP, as deficient.

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The court concluded that no regulatory framework or policy allowed it to grant such a request, adding that allowing cameras in the courtroom was an important judicial action that needed to be backed up by the law.

The Court may only be directed and act by the practice directions and procedures approved by the President of the Court of Appeals.

We cannot allow a situation that could lead to the dramatization of our trial, Judge Tsammani said.

Furthermore, the court ruled that the request was not part of any legal remedy in the petitions presented to it, as it was based solely on the sentimental claim that it would benefit voters.

It claimed that the petitioners had not been able to demonstrate how televising the proceedings would advance their case, adding that such a live broadcast would not provide any useful added value in deciding the petitions.

In addition, it was pointed out that such a live transmission must be planned and budgeted for.

The court, while assuring the parties that doing so would ensure their right to a fair trial as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, as amended, ruled that it saw no reason to grant the motion, which it considered novel and unprecedented.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who came second in the election, first requested live coverage, and Obi then pushed hard for the request.

The duo claimed through their lead attorneys, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, and Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, that the petitions they filed challenged the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC candidate Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the election was a matter of enormous national importance and public concern.

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