Tinubu, APC, INEC object to live broadcast of proceedings


All Progressives Congress and president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, have objected the motion seeking a live broadcast of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

Tinubu also wanted the court to strike out the paragraphs of Labour Party’s reply to their preliminary objection where new issues were raised.

Tinubu, through his counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), contended that granting the application would affect the security of witnesses and lawyers in the matter.

He said the application would breach the code of conduct for judicial officers, and noted that broadcasting entire trials, even in other jurisdictions, had their peculiarities.

He explained that the courtroom was not a stadium or theatre for entertainment to warrant cameras inside.

He noted that questions that ought to be answered were: “What type of cameras, equipment, gadgets, and devices will the court direct to be presented for the streaming? What will be their make, brand, and model? Where will they be situated, placed, or located within the court premises?” among others.

TheLeadng also gathered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also objected the live broadcast of the proceeding.

The LP, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and their presidential candidates have requested for a live broadcast of the tribunal.

Meanwhile the LP and Obi have accused INEC of failure to provide them with 70 per cent of the documents required to prosecute their petition at the Tribunal.

LP and Obi’s lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), informed the court that the team met INEC’s legal department about six times for it to certify and release Form EC8As (polling unit result sheets), especially from Rivers and Sokoto states, to no avail as contained in the order of March 25.

While he claimed that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers told them boldly that there were no Form EC8As to be given, in Sokoto they were asked to bring N1.5m.

However, counsel to INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), informed the court that they were willing to cooperate with the LP team to obtain all the necessary materials.

He said he had earlier scheduled a meeting with the LP lawyers on May 15 and 16, but that they walked away because they allegedly were not provided with the materials they pleaded in their petition.

Tinubu’s lawyer, Olanipekun (SAN), and that of the APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), both submitted that failure to supply the materials might be because of non-payment of certification fees.