The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the request by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for a live broadcast of proceedings at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal was intended to ridicule the judiciary.
Goldennewsng recalls that the PDP and Atiku had in an application dated May 5, prayed the tribunal sitting inside the Court of Appeal in Abuja, to allow its proceedings to be televised.
Atiku, who came second in the presidential election, through his team of lawyers, led by Chris Uche (SAN) contended that the petition he lodged against the President-elect, was “a matter of national concern and public interest.”
He argued that the case involved the interest of citizens and the electorate in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who he said voted and participated in the presidential poll.
Atiku and the PDP insisted that their case against Tinubu was a matter of public interest in which millions of Nigerian citizens and voters are stakeholders, with the constitutional right to be part of the proceedings.
Also, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, who also filed a petition to challenge the outcome of the election, had since asked that the tribunal proceedings be televised.
However, in processes filed before the court, the APC urged the court to dismiss Atiku’s application, stressing that the suit is unnecessary and an abuse of the legal process.
The APC through its team of lawyers led by Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) told the court that contrary to Atiku’s claim, the presidential election is not the subject matter of any national concern.
He insisted that the election was well managed by INEC with a turnout of voters in their millions, adding that the proceedings of the court were already being adequately covered by the media.
There is nothing unique or peculiar in the electoral dispute that emanated from the outcome of the 25th February 2023 election that is different from the earlier five presidential elections in the country since the Advent of the Fourth Republic and if anything, the February 25, 2023, election referred to, has the least litigation since 1999,” Fagbemi said.
He further argued that the live broadcast will subject the proceedings of the court to unnecessary sensationalism and undue social media trial, which distracts from the kernel of the serious business before the court”
Continuing its argument against the application, Fagbemi said allowing live televising of the proceedings will defeat the protection afforded to witnesses, expose them to avoidable censure, and put them in a precarious situation.
He added that televising the election tribunal proceedings live will only cause unnecessary tension, violence, and unrest among the public, which may lead to a breach of peace.
The senior lawyer, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the application in the interest of justice.
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