Thursday, June 8, 2023

We’re under pressure; don’t want tribunal proceedings broadcast live: INEC

“We don’t want to be put under additional pressure of cameras beaming in our faces,” INEC said.

and • May 18, 2023
A.B Mahmud and Mahmood Yakubu
A.B Mahmud and Mahmood Yakubu

On Thursday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) opposed the application for a live broadcast of proceedings at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal filed by Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“We urge your lordship to refuse this application,” prayed A.B Mahmud, INEC’s lawyer. “It is unnecessary and uncalled for. It will defeat the essence of administration of justice.”

Mr Mahmud said the court is a public place and already accessible to the public, asserting it is needless to still broadcast proceedings in real-time.

The broadcast of proceedings is subject to rigorous legal restrictions, according to INEC, in the jurisdictions where it is practised. He further explained that there was a difference between televising and live-streaming proceedings.

“In all the jurisdictions that I’m aware of, live-streaming is not the same as televising it. In other countries, It is controlled by the court,” INEC argued.

It added, “Bringing cameras into the courtroom will defeat the solemn atmosphere of the courtroom. The courtroom is not for theatrics. It is for serious business.”

Countering Mr Atiku’s argument that the matter was of “monumental importance” and that real-time broadcast would show seriousness and commitment on the part of lawyers, INEC said lawyers and jurists were already committed and did not need the additional pressure of having cameras in their faces in the course of their job.

“We don’t want to be put under additional pressure of cameras beaming in our faces,” INEC said.

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