As the Presidential Election Petition Court begins hearing today, the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate in the just concluded presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, have filed an application for an order to allow the live coverage of the daily court proceedings on the case they brought against the president-elect, Bola Tinubu.
The party and its candidate applied for “an order directing the Court’s Registry and the parties on modalities for admission of Media Practitioners and their Equipment into the courtroom.”
They argued that the petition is a matter of national concern and public interest, adding that it involves citizens and electorates in the 36 sates of the Federation who participated in the just concluded presidential polls. They also said that the international community is interested in Nigeria’s electoral process.
They added, “With the huge and tremendous technological advances and developments in Nigeria and beyond, including the current trend by this court towards embracing electronic procedures, virtual hearing and electronic filing, a departure from the rules to allow a regulated televising of the proceedings in this matter is in consonance with the maxim that justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done.
“Televising court proceedings is not alien to this court, and will enhance public confidence”
Atiku in his joint petition with the PDP, prayed the court to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Tinubu by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
He maintained that the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election was “invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.”
However, in a reply through his team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Tinubu, queried the legal competence of petitions seeking to invalidate his election victory. In a preliminary objection he entered before the court, Tinubu, described Atiku as a consistent serial loser that had since 1993, crisscrossed different political parties, in search of power.