2023 Presidential Petition: NBA President, Maikyau, Falana, Others Want Live Telecast Of Proceedings
The President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, SAN, and human rights activist, Femi Falana SAN, are among concerned Nigerians and legal minds that have so far called on the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to allow live telecast of the 2023 Presidential Election Petition.
Maikyau, who made the call in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday, said this will be “in the interest of openness, justice, transparency and trust in the judiciary.”
According to him, “a live telecast is in the interest of the people of Nigeria. Section 36 (1) and (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that judicial proceedings should be conducted in public.”
He added: “Providing public access to the proceedings would meet the aspirations of the public to participate in the process.”
Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and human rights activist has also made a similar call even as he admitted the possibility of annulment of the announced 2023 Presidential Election result by the tribunal.
He said these when he appeared on Sunday Politics, a current affairs programme on Channels Television.
His words: “I’m not going to join some of my colleagues who are rubbishing the court. I go to court on a daily basis. If I have a problem with any court or any judge for that matter, what I’m required to do is to write a petition to the National Judicial Council. But I cannot for goodness sake embark on what I call a fallacy of generalisation to say ‘Oh, Nigerian courts are bad, Nigerian judges will not dispense justice.’
“For me, once you prepare your case, I don’t think there should be any cause for alarm. Elections have been annulled in Nigeria by our courts. Our courts have ordered rerun elections. One of them, I think the case of Buhari and Yar’Adua; the president-elect then escaped narrowly. It was a decision of four to three justices of the Supreme Court… the elections of 2007, the winner of the election, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, did say the election was highly flawed. In some of the states, not less than five elections were annulled and rerun elections were ordered.”
On the request for live television broadcast of the petition proceeding, Falana said: “I have always campaigned for that. That is the trend in Africa — in Ghana and Kenya — the proceedings are televised because judges should have nothing to hide.
“Invite the media and members of the public. Once there is order in the court, everybody should be part of it because we were all part of the election. So the decision of the court on the election should not be shrouded in secrecy. For that reason, I support the call by the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), that the proceedings should be televised. It is in the interest of our judges, and the public,” he said.
Many other Nigerians have also expressed hope that the Presidential Election petition would be done openly so as to convince concerned citizens that it’s outcome would be credible and fair to all.
It would be recalled that Mr Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have challenged the announced results of Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential Election held on February 25, 2023 with which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the Presidential Candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the winner and the President-elect.
Photo Credit: BBC