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Tinubu: Onaiyekan backs call for live broadcast of tribunal proceedings



John Onaiyekan, the Catholic Bishop Emeritus of Abuja Archdiocese, has joined the call for a live broadcast of the presidential elections petition tribunal proceedings.

“It is in the interest of the judiciary to allow the live broadcast to be done,” he told journalists on Sunday after the Mass to mark this year’s 57th World Communication Day.

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Mr Onaiyekan’s call came after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, asked the court to order a live broadcast of the tribunal’s proceedings.

On May 8, Mr Abubkar and PDP requested “an order directing the court’s registry and the parties on modalities for admission of media practitioners and their equipment into the courtroom.”

According to Mr Onaiyekan, Nigerians need to rekindle trust in the judiciary.

“Isn’t it why it is important the petition before the tribunal, the possibility that the tribunal should be available to all of us to be able to follow what is happening?” stated the Catholic leader.

He said further, “So, it is in the interest of the judiciary to allow this thing to be done. All these issues that there are witnesses, whose witnesses are not meant to be made public, for goodness sake, what are they hiding? If you have anything that people shouldn’t know, you shouldn’t be saying it.”

Mr Onaiyekan urged journalists to “do your job, cover everything, but try and listen to everybody and relay to the public what is happening because they want to see.”

He stressed that the populace suffers more in a rigged election than the contestant, pointing out that those who are “the most impacted are you and me, but as it stands, we don’t even have locus standi” in court.

The Catholic clergy said, “We are the ones who should be complaining in court that my votes have been bastardised, but they tell me I cannot go in the court because I did not contest the election.”