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Tribunal refuses Atiku, Obi’s request for live broadcast of proceedings (updated)

Tribunal refuses Atiku, Obi’s request for live broadcast of proceedings (updated)
May 22
11:32 2023

The presidential election petition tribunal has refused a request for live broadcast of its proceedings.

A five-member panel of the court led by Haruna Tsammani held that the application lacked merit.

Atiku, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), made the request on May 7.

The former vice-president had said televising the proceedings will enhance public confidence.


Arguing the motion, Chris Uche, counsel for Atiku and the PDP, said: “There is no single legislative or statutory position against it.”

He said a live broadcast doesn’t necessarily mean the faces of the justices would be shown. 

In his submission, Abubakar Mahmoud, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said a live broadcast “will only defeat the solemn atmosphere of the court”.


President-elect Bola Tinubu, represented by Wole Olanipekun, said he is surprised by the application.

“The court is not a stadium or a crusade ground. It is not a theatre or circus,” he said

However, the court in its ruling held the petitioners’ submission on public proceedings “does not mean the court must sit in a stadium or a market square”.

“The application is a novel one in this country. It is not provided for in any of our rules or procedures.”


The court also held that the case of Oscar Pistorius, O.J Simpsons and others cited by petitioners in their application does not apply to the Nigerian judiciary.

The panel further held that for the court to do that, judicial policies and regulatory frameworks have to be put in place.

In a separate ruling, the court also rejected the application by the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, seeking to televise the proceedings of the court.

The court dismissed the application on the same grounds it dismissed that of Atiku and the PDP.


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