The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, was in attendance at the election tribunal where his application for a live broadcast of court proceedings was adjourned to May 18.
According to The Sun, The former vice president who is challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential alongside his political platform arrived at the tribunal around 8:34 am in the company of loyalists and friends including the Kogi State governorship candidate of the PDP, Senator Dino Melaye.
Others were former PDP Chairman Uche Secondus, senator Liyel Imoke, a former governor of Cross River, and a former governor of Adamawa, Boni Haruna.
Atiku and the PDP are expressly asking the tribunal in an application dated May 5, 2023 for “An order Directing the Court’s Registry and the Parties on Modalities for Admission of Media Practitioners and their Equipment into the Courtroom.”
The Sun report that, The dispute over the results of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023, before the Honourable Court is one of national concern and public interest, involving citizens and voters in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who participated in the said election. This is the basis for the application filed on their behalf by their team of solicitors led by Chief Chris Uche, SAN.
They argued that because this electoral issue had a particular constitutional dimension and involved millions of Nigerian residents and voters, it was of public interest and that they had a constitutional right to receive.
“The Court’s constitutional obligation to hold hearings in public includes the power to permit public access to those sessions, whether physically or virtually.
The maxim that justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done is in line with the enormous and tremendous technological advancements and developments in Nigeria and beyond, including the current trend by this Honourable Court towards embracing electronic procedures, virtual hearing, and electronic filing. Accordingly, a departure from the Rules to allow a controlled telecast of the proceedings in this case is in accordance with this maxim.
“This Honourable judicial is not opposed to broadcasting judicial sessions on television, which will boost public confidence.
The Nation report that, The application will be heard alongside other applications by the respondents, including those requesting the dismissal of the joint petition by Atiku and the PDP, according to Justice Haruna Tsammani’s decision on Thursday.
Counsel for both parties to the petition came together and agreed that the pre-hearing session should be moved to Thursday.
Chris Uche, SAN, the lead attorney for Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, briefed the court that parties had met to coordinate their stances on the papers to be admitted or opposed to.
“My lords in other to have a seamless progression of the pre-hearing session, counsel for the respective parties had met and put heads together to harmonise and to streamline the crucial areas or components of the pre-hearing conference,” Uche said in his arguments.
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