The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja has dismissed a request to televise the day-to-day proceedings of the petitions challenging the outcome of the 2023 presidential election. The five-member panel, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, deemed the application as lacking merit and stated that no existing regulatory framework or policy direction permits such televised coverage.
Justice Tsammani emphasized that the court must abide by practice directions and procedures approved by the President of the Court of Appeal, and that allowing cameras in the courtroom constitutes a significant judicial policy requiring proper legal support. The court expressed concerns about the potential dramatization of proceedings and the need to maintain the solemnity of the courtroom.
Additionally, the court pointed out that the request for televised coverage was not a part of any relief sought in the petitions before it. It regarded the request as being based on sentimental claims about benefiting the electorate, rather than establishing how such coverage would advance the petitioners’ cases. The court concluded that live broadcasting would not contribute significantly to the determination of the petitions.
The initial request for live coverage came from former Vice President and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who secured the second position in the election. Subsequently, Mr. Peter Obi, candidate of the Labour Party, expressed support for the demand to broadcast the court proceedings.