Thursday, June 8, 2023

Live broadcast of tribunal proceedings unnecessary; media already available: Tinubu

“The court is not a stadium or crusade ground, it is not a theatre or circus. My lord, we are not here for a circus show.”

and • May 18, 2023
Bola Tinubu
Bola Tinubu (Credit: Bola Tinubu’s Twitter page)

President-elect, Bola Tinubu, has countered the application to livestream tribunal proceedings, saying the motion was similar to likening the court to a stadium or crusade ground.

“We don’t just request your lordship to dismiss this application but the application should not even have been brought,” Wole Olanipekun, representing Mr Tinubu, prayed the panel of five justices on Thursday. “It should be dismissed without much ado,” he added.

Mr Olanipekun said it was “very strange” that defeated presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar would request to livestream tribunal proceedings because of the so-called “monumental importance” of the matter.

“Can any court even make this kind of order that because of the momentum or importance of this case request for a televised proceeding,” Mr Tinubu’s lawyer queried.

“The court is not a stadium or crusade ground, it is not a theatre or circus. My lord, we are not here for a circus show.”

Pointing at the section of the court where journalists were seated, Mr Olanipekun said the press were already available and sufficient to broadcast the proceedings through their reports.

“Inside this courtroom already there is already press on ground, what do the petitioners want again?” asked Mr Olanipekun in an exasperated tone.

To further support his argument, the President-elect’s lawyer said the nation’s Code of Conduct prohibits any form of recording in the courtroom. It would have to be revised before proceedings can be recorded, he added, implying a laborious red-tape that could take months to complete.

“It is a policy decision which the court has presently constituted and it is only with the dismissal of the president of the court of appeal to issue or change the direction and guidelines.”

Mr Tinubu, through his lawyers, urged the court not to make an order it cannot control. He reminded the court that the legal profession was a solemn one that required the utmost discretion particularly where the safety of jurists was concerned.

“What about the discretion of our safety in the televised broadcast where our images or faces will be broadcasted?” asked the senior lawyer.

He reminded the panel of five justices led by Haruna Tsammani that Nigeria was not the United States and its citizens cannot always toe the path of the Westerners.

“This is Nigeria and this is not the USA and even the USA doesn’t always make use of televised broadcasts, and my lord should we say because they allow guns in the USA, people should be seen with ammunition?” queried the lawyer.

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