- Ruling Not Setback – Atiku, PDP
THE Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on Monday in Abuja dismissed the application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) for live broadcast of court proceedings.
In a unanimous decision, the five-member panel held that the order sought by the petitioners lacked merit and was outside the scope of the petition.
The judges held that televising of proceedings was not provided for in any law. They held that the court was created by the constitution and operated under the law by the Court of Appeal.
“The court was created to hear and determine the petitions before it and cannot act as a vanguard.
“The undue pressure of allowing cameras into the courtroom should be avoided as the impact it would have on witnesses could not be predicted.
“The court is created to find out the truth and should be allowed to do so,” Justice Tsammani said.
Meanwhile the PDP and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have, in their response to the ruling, said that the dismissal of their application for a live broadcast was not a setback to their petition against the president-elect, Bola Tinubu.
Counsel to PDP and Abubakar, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, stated this while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the PEPC’s decision.
“There is no setback here. The court, in its wisdom decided that the subject of our application on the live streaming and open telecast is not, in any way, connected with the merit of our petition.
“The petition is separate; it is ongoing. The application did not succeed to have the televised version of the proceedings. As far as we are concerned, we are now set for hearing.
“Tomorrow, we will be hear by God’s grace for pre-hearing report that will determine the progress of the petition and the time the petition will be heard and concluded,” Jegede said.
On whether they still had confidence in the court, the senior lawyer simply said: “For us, we are prepared for hearing.”
On the issue of consolidation of the whole petitions, he said it was one that was compelled by statute and that they had no objection to it.