The challenge of the 2023 Presidential Election outcome at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its standard bearer, Atiku Abubakar, has sparked up a debate on live broadcasting of the proceedings.
In a motion on notice filed by their team of lawyers, the PDP and Atiku are requesting a live telecast of the tribunal proceedings, stressing that “Televising court proceedings is not alien to this court, and will enhance public confidence.”
The Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, who is also challenging INEC’s declaration of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election, has also given his full support to the application.
While the respondents, including INEC, Tinubu, and APC, consider their responses, it is in their interest to prefer a transparent trial. When the people are exposed to a first-hand account of how the election produced a winner, legitimacy will be largely conferred on the government.
Nigeria’s judiciary won’t be delving into uncharted territory by toeing this path.
Proceedings from the tribunal that sat on the case of then General Muhammadu Buhari and other candidates challenging the election of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua were televised live to members of the public only on the judgment day. Some states like Oyo, Ondo, Kogi, and Edo have since followed this template of live telecast of judgment on election petitions.
The collective heartbeat of Nigeria resonates with a fervent curiosity intertwined with deep-rooted investment as the courts hold the key to unravelling the enigma of the 2023 presidential election victor.
This profound interest emerges from a tapestry of impassioned involvement, where the citizens, with hearts ablaze, ventured into the electoral arena at great personal cost, sacrificing lives and livelihoods.
The intensity of this ardour births a resounding critique of the existing system, where candidates anointed as winners by INEC ascend to the throne of power even as the spectre of pending election cases lingers, casting shadows of uncertainty over the nation’s political landscape.
Allowing for a regulated televising of the proceedings will go a long way in boosting the confidence of Nigerians in the courts and guarantee judicial credibility. The nascent political awakening among Nigerians has been widely commended and nourished.
This consciousness will be deepened when there is a live transmission of what transpires at the tribunal. After all, Section 36 (1) and (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that judicial proceedings should be conducted in public.
It is gratifying that the chairman of the five-member tribunal, Justice Haruna Tsammani, assured that the application for a live broadcast of the proceedings “will be considered together with the other issues.” It is hoped that the PEPT would grant the request, as it will not only boost transparency but also promote democracy in Nigeria.
In a bold stride towards fostering transparency within Nigeria’s electoral tapestry, the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, and the tenacious presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, join forces, beseeching the courts for the live telecast of tribunal proceedings.
As the outcome of the 2023 Presidential Election stands as a pulse within the collective national consciousness, the citizens, fueled by an unyielding thirst for truth, rightfully yearn to bear witness to the intricate deliberations that shape the course of their democracy.
Granting the ethereal stage of television to enshrine the courtroom’s every nuance is a testament to Nigeria’s steadfast commitment to transparency, igniting a flicker of hope that will rekindle the faith of its people in the sanctity of the judiciary while heralding a harmonious symphony of democratic values that reverberate throughout the land.
Praise Ben writes for Eko Hot Blog. This media platform reserves all rights to this article.
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