The Nigerian tribunal has rejected a request for the live viewing of a presidential election case being considered by the top court in the country. The ruling was made by the seven-man panel of judges after the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), asked the Tribunal to allow the public to watch proceedings live.
The PDP argued that allowing the public to watch the proceedings live would improve public trust in the justice system by increasing transparency and accountability in the judiciary. However, the Tribunal said that it did not have the power to broadcast the case to the public, citing Section 153 of the Nigerian Constitution, which states that proceedings of the tribunal must be considered in camera.
The court panel meeting held on Tuesday in Abuja was chaired by the President of the Tribunal, Justice Muhammadu Saulawa. Other members of the panel included: Musa Daura, Idris Haruna, Galadima Leo, Corneille Isa, Ismaila Aliyu and Augustine Igberase.
In a statement, the Tribunal explained that its decision was based on the principle that trials should be conducted in an environment that is private and without external interference. It stated that the Tribunal found that allowing the public to view proceedings without any prior arrangements or agreements could “interfere with the administration of justice and the due process of law.”
The Tribunal also noted that any decision to broadcast proceedings to the public would need to be done in accordance with the law. As such, it rejected the PDP’s request and referred the case to the Supreme Court.