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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Tinubu, Shettima oppose live coverage of presidential election petition tribunal

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Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, and Kashim Shettima, the Vice President-elect, have expressed their opposition to the application filed by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) requesting a live broadcast of the proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC). In their response, Tinubu and Shettima have urged the court to dismiss the application, stating that it is not within the court’s jurisdiction to grant such relief.

According to the respondents, the application filed by the petitioners is an abuse of the court’s processes and is considered frivolous. They emphasized that the court is not a platform for entertainment but a solemn place for the administration of justice. They questioned the motives behind filing an application that would distract the court and waste its valuable time.

In their counter affidavit, Tinubu and Shettima’s legal team argued that the application relates to policy formulation and administrative functions of the court, which fall outside the jurisdiction of the PEPC as currently constituted. They pointed out that these matters are within the exclusive authority of the President of the Court of Appeal, and therefore, the current court cannot entertain them.

The respondents further asserted that the application filed by the petitioners is irrelevant to the main petition before the court and serves only to dissipate the court’s valuable judicial time. They emphasized that the court should dismiss the application in the interest of justice.

In a written address attached to their response, Tinubu and Shettima challenged the petitioners’ reference to the allowance of virtual proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic. They argued that this reference is not applicable to the present case and does not support the petitioners’ request for a live broadcast of the proceedings.

As the PEPC continues its proceedings, it remains to be seen how the court will decide on the application for live coverage. The opposition from Tinubu and Shettima highlights the ongoing debates and challenges surrounding transparency and public access to court proceedings. It is essential for the court to carefully consider the arguments presented and make a decision that upholds the principles of justice and fairness while maintaining the integrity of the proceedings.

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