Presidential Election: INEC, APC, Tinubu reject televised proceedings

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The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal commenced hearings in the complaint filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday.

The application for live coverage of proceedings is currently being heard by the court.

Counsel for Atiku and PDP, Chris Uche, said the motion dated May 5 and filed on the May 7 praying for an order of the court to allow the televising of the proceedings is important given the ‘monumental national significance’.

This is in addition to requests for a court order dictating the manner in which it will be implemented.

He claims that it will not make the proceedings look like a circus, but rather grave and serious business, and that everyone will be able to watch the events objectively.

Counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abubakar Mahmoud however disagreed. He said bringing cameras into the court room will defeat the solemn atmosphere that the courtroom is known for. He insisted that they want to do their work in a solemn atmosphere without having cameras on their faces.

He asked the court to reject the application for live coverage as it was unnecessary and uncalled for.

Counsel for APC’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, Wole Olanipekun in his argument, found it surprising that the application will be brought by the petitioner in the first place, stating that they are in court for serious business.

He added that the court is not a stadium, neither is it a theatre or circus.

Also, counsel for the APC, Lateef Fagbemi in his argument, said televising the proceedings, is similar to BBNaija (Big Brother Nigeria).

He added that in jurisdictions where live streaming is done, certain elements of the proceedings are not captured.

Fagbemi further stated that there is a distinction between a trial for the public and a trial by the public, if this is done, other tribunals will be seeking the same order.

The court will deliver its ruling on Friday, May 19 on the same day that a similar application by the Labour Party (LP) will be heard.