Why tribunal rejected live coverage

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THE Presidential Election Petitions Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, yesterday, rejected a request to allow its day-to-day proceedings on petitions seeking to nullify the outcome of the February 25, 2023, presidential election to be televised live.

Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel dismissed the application brought by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; and Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, as lacking in merit.

The court held that no regulatory framework or policy direction permitted it to grant such an application, adding that allowing cameras in the courtroom is a major judicial policy that must be supported by the law.

“The court can only be guided and act in accordance with the practice directions and procedures approved by the President of the Court of Appeal. We cannot permit a situation that may lead to the dramatisation of our proceedings,” Justice Tsammani held.
Besides, the court held that the request was not part of any relief in the petitions before it, saying it was merely hinged on a sentimental claim that it would benefit the electorate.

It maintained that the petitioners failed to establish how televising the proceedings would advance their case, adding that such live broadcast would not add any utilitarian value to the determination of the petitions.

More so, it noted that such a live broadcast must be planned and budgeted for.

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