By Siojare Uvoh
Request by presidential candidates of the People Democratic Party Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party’s Peter Obi to have their petitions broadcast live on TV, has been rejected by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja.
Atiku and Obi are contesting the result of the February 25 presidential elections and had prayed for the Tribunal to allow the proceedings to be on air. But the Tribunal unanimously ruled Monday morning that there was no basis for a live broadcast, since such a process was not recognised by law or judicial procedure.
“The court can only be guided and act in accordance with the practice directions and procedures approved by the President of the Court of Appeal,” said chairman of tribunal Haruna Tsammani
“We cannot permit a situation that may lead to dramatization of our proceedings.”
Meanwhile, President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Party the All Progressives Congress have rejected the Tribunal’s proposal to merge all the Petitions challenging the result of the presidential election.
The Tribunal is looking to merge the petitions filed by the PDP, LP and the Allied People’s Movement and their presidential candidates in order to expedite hearing on the petitions. But according to Tinubu and the APC merging the cases will not guarantee fair dispensation of justice.
APC, through its counsel, Charles Edosomwen SAN, argued that it would not be able to defend its victory perfectly if the petitions are consolidated.
Specifically, the party said it would not be able to engage the huge number of witnesses already lined up to testify against it and its presidential candidate in the election, especially on the myriad of allegations against them.
However, the Tribunal reserved judgement on the matter till May 23.