From Our Correspondent in Abuja
The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on Monday in Abuja, rejected the request of PDP and Labour Party presidential candidates for live broadcast of its proceedings.
In a unanimous decision, the five-member panel, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, held that the court did not have the powers or vires to make such an order.
Live broadcast, the court rules, is a policy issue.
The judges held that they did not plan for such an order ahead of time and was no budget for it.
Besides, they agreed that both Abubakar Atiku and Peter Obi of PDP and LP respectively, did not tell the court what they stood to lose if the court did not grant their request.
The judges held that live televising of proceedings was not provided for in any law.
They held that the Constitution only provided for the court to hear election petitions.
“And anything outside of that is beyond its scope.”
The court also held that the request was novel and not supported by any law in the country presently.
Justice Tsammani said the request did not reflect in the petition Atiku or Obi filed before the court.
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They ruled that the request was capable of turning the court into a stadium or market square.
They added that the court must not allow such.
Besides, Justice Tsammani held that granting such a request would not add any value to the petitions.
“We should avoid undue pressure of allowing cameras into the courtroom.
“This is because we cannot predict the impact it would have on witnesses.
“The court is created to find out truth and it should be allowed to do so,” Tsammani said.
The judge said that in the final analysis, the petition was without merit and subsequently dismissed it.
Recall that Atiku and Obi had approached the court hearing their petition against the outcome of the Feb. 25 presidential polls for an order allowing live broadcast of proceedings.
They both said the request for live broadcast was predicated on the grounds that the petitions were of monumental importance to the nation.
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