Tinubu Rejects Live Broadcasting of Election Petition Hearings

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Bola Tinubu, the newly elected president, and Kashim Shettima, the newly elected vice president, have urged the Presidential Election Petition Court to deny Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party’s request for a live broadcast of the proceedings.

According to reports, the respondents claimed that the applicants’ requested relief was beyond the court’s authority to grant.


The respondents expressed their admiration for the petitioners and said, “The motion is an abuse of the court’s processes.” They also criticized the application and dismissed it as frivolous, highlighting the fact that the court is not a venue for public entertainment but rather a place for serious legal proceedings.

The respondents, who were represented by their legal team under the direction of Chief Wole Olanipekun, questioned why a petitioner would submit an application intended to divert attention from the case and waste the court’s time.

They claimed in their counter affidavit that the application relates to issues of court policy formulation and that, in its current makeup, the Presidential Election Petition Court does not have authority over those issues.

The application also raises questions about the Constitution’s grant of authority and jurisdiction to the President of the Court of Appeals, which this court is unable to address at this time. They claimed that it “touches on executive duties that are solely the province of the President of the Court of Appeal.”

The respondents emphasized that the application is unrelated to the petition that the applicants filed and only exists to eat up the court’s valuable judicial time. In the interest of justice, they urged the court to reject the application.

The applicants’ claim that virtual proceedings were permitted during the COVID-19 pandemic was rejected by the respondents in their written response. They emphasized that Atiku and his party did not acknowledge that the relevant courts had issued practice directives to facilitate such proceedings.

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The application’s request for the court to issue an order that it cannot monitor is another feature that the respondents have criticized.

According to them, “The court, like nature, does not make an order in vain or an order that cannot be enforced.”

Further, the respondents characterized the application as academic, pointless, time-wasting, and unexpected, particularly in light of the petitioners’ proper request for a speedy trial.

They claimed that the application invokes Section 36(3) of the Constitution, which guarantees open proceedings, but they argued that in this case, “public” refers to a venue that is open to the public and that the court itself is sitting in open session rather than behind closed doors or in camera.

The respondents also emphasized that in cases involving class actions, the people the plaintiffs or petitioners are representing are always listed in the initial filing. The public represented by this application, however, is still vague and unidentified.

The respondents ultimately emphasized the value of preserving the court as a solemn, orderly, and honorable institution and rejected the idea that it should act as a stage for public entertainment. They reaffirmed their belief that the motionabuses the court’s procedures.


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