On Thursday, the hearing in the lawsuit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar was resumed by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
The application for live coverage of proceedings is being heard by the court right now.
The request, dated May 5 and submitted on May 7, asking for a court order allowing the hearings to be televised, is significant given the “monumental national significance,” according to Chris Uche, the attorney representing Atiku and the PDP.
In addition to that, requests are made for a court order that specifies how it will be put into effect.
He claimed that it wouldn’t give the proceedings the appearance of a circus but rather, it would be a somber and important matter, and everyone would be able to observe the proceedings impartially.
Abubakar Mahmoud, a lawyer for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), disagreed. He claimed that allowing cameras inside the courtroom would ruin its reverent atmosphere. He stated that they like to perform their duties in a solemn setting without having cameras trained on them.
He requested that the application for live coverage be denied because it was unwarranted and unneeded.
In his defense, Bola Tinubu’s attorney, Wole Olanipekun, expressed surprise that the petitioner would even bring the application in the first place, saying that they are in court for important matters.
The court, he said, is not a stadium, nor is it a theater or a circus.
Additionally, the APC’s legal representative, Lateef Fagbemi, claimed that broadcasting the proceedings is similar to BBNaija (Big Brother Nigeria).
He continued by saying that in places where live streaming is done, some aspects of the events are not recorded.
Fagbemi added that once this is done, other tribunals will be requesting the same order. There is a difference between a trial for the public and a trial by the public.
Regarding Atiku’s request for a live broadcast of the proceedings, the court reserved judgment.
On Friday, May 19, the court will issue its decision, concurrent with the hearing of a related application by the Labour Party (LP).