ABUJA, Nigeria – The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, located at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, has declined the plea from the Labour Party and the Peoples Democratic Party to live stream the court proceedings. The denial was based on the absence of a policy framework, budget, and relevant local law. Sparking a national discourse on judicial transparency. This decision followed a motion presented by Wole Olanipekun, SAN, the lead counsel representing Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), the lead counsel for Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, expressed disappointment. He also emphasized the significance of the case and the need for public accessibility. The denial has left a significant number of Nigerians and influential figures who supported the motion disheartened.
Cardinal John Onaiyekan, a prominent voice in the country, also advocated for the live streaming of court proceedings. He stressed the importance of transparency in the Nigerian judiciary. During a special Mass commemorating the 2023 World Communication Week of the Catholic Church in Abuja. The esteemed cleric conveyed his concerns about the secrecy surrounding the judiciary and called for a change.
The ongoing case before the Presidential Election Tribunal has attracted considerable attention both nationally and internationally, focusing on the conduct of the recent presidential election held on February 25, 2023. Critics argue that the denial of live streaming perpetuates the existing opacity in the Nigerian judiciary, prompting increased demands for reform.
Opposing the motion, the counsel representing Tinubu and the APC emphasized the necessity of adhering to proper legal and procedural frameworks. They contended that court proceedings should not be transformed into public spectacles without due process.
As the repercussions of this decision resonate throughout the nation, questions arise about the future of judicial transparency in Nigeria and its implications for the ongoing election case. While this ruling may be seen as a setback for advocates of openness, it is likely to ignite further dialogue and potentially spur reform within the Nigerian judicial system.