Tinubu Rejects Atiku’s Request for Live Broadcast of Election Petition Hearing
Tinubu and Shettima called it frivolous, emphasizing that the court is not a venue for public entertainment but rather a venue for serious judicial processes.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
In a recent development, President-elect Bola Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima have petitioned the Presidential Election Petition Court to deny Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s request for a live broadcast of the proceedings.
According to emerging reports, the respondents have contended that the applicants’ requested remedy is outside the scope of the court’s jurisdiction.
The respondents, represented by a legal team headed by Chief Wole Olanipekun, expressed their admiration for the petitioners while calling the motion a misuse of the court’s procedures. They slammed the motion as frivolous, emphasizing that the court is not a venue for public entertainment but rather a venue for serious judicial processes.
The respondents questioned the motivation for submitting an application that seeks to divert the court’s attention and squander important time. They contended in their counter-affidavit that the application touches on court policy development issues outside the competence of the Presidential Election Petition Court’s existing composition.
They further said that the application pertains to powers and authority reserved only for the President of the Court of Appeal, which the court cannot examine now.
Respondents requested the court to reject the application in the interest of justice, arguing that it merely serves to waste valuable judicial time and is irrelevant to the original petition.
In their written address, the respondents contested the applicants’ reference to the authorization of virtual procedures during the COVID-19 epidemic. They claimed that Atiku and the PDP ignored customary orders granted by the separate courts to assist such processes.
The respondents further criticized the application for seeking that the court imposes an order that it cannot oversee, claiming that the court does not issue orders in vain or that are unenforceable.
Furthermore, the respondents thought the application was academic, unneeded, time-consuming, and unexpected, particularly given that the petitioners should seek a quick trial.
They said that invoking Section 36(3) of the Constitution, which protects open procedures, refers to a public location with the court sitting in open session rather than behind closed doors or in camera.
Respondents noted that the application fails to clarify or name the public on whose behalf it is brought, even though class actions designate the persons represented by the plaintiffs or petitioners in the original filing.
Respondents emphasized preserving the court as a serious, disciplined, and respectable institution. They flatly denied that it should be used for public entertainment and underlined that the request misuses the court’s proceedings.
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