Denial of Live Broadcast Request Raises Concerns about Judicial Integrity

The Labour Party and the PDP’s Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and Atiku Abubakar, have filed a petition requesting a live broadcast of the proceedings in the Election tribunal concerning the case against President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu. However, the Court has denied their request, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the seriousness and integrity of the proceedings. The Court aims to avoid the dramatization of legal matters and has exercised its discretion in rejecting the live telecast.

Liborous Oshoma, a Lawyer and Public Policy Analyst, has expressed concerns regarding the potential consequences of granting the request. Oshoma argues that allowing a live telecast could establish an unfavorable precedent for the Nigerian judiciary. According to Oshoma, such a precedent would encourage lawyers to prioritize theatrics over the substantive legal issues at hand in court. This, in turn, could lead to a situation where legal practitioners seek to perform for the camera rather than focusing on effectively presenting their cases. Oshoma believes that such a practice would not only undermine the lower courts but also distort judges’ decision-making processes, potentially leading to incorrect judgments.

In Oshoma’s view, granting the request for a live telecast of the entire proceeding would reduce the seriousness of judicial practice and legal election petition matters to a “comedy series.” He argues that if the request were allowed, it would establish a precedent that lower courts might follow. This could result in a scenario where lawyers prioritize their performances for the camera rather than focusing on the substantive aspects of their cases. Oshoma contends that this would undermine the integrity of the judicial process and could potentially lead to incorrect judgments being made.

The denial of the request for a live broadcast by the Election tribunal highlights the court’s commitment to upholding the seriousness and integrity of its proceedings. While transparency and public access to legal processes are important, the court has deemed it necessary to avoid turning the courtroom into a platform for theatrics. The decision has sparked discussions among legal experts and the public regarding the potential implications of live telecasts on the Nigerian judiciary.

Overall, the concerns raised by Liborous Oshoma shed light on the potential risks associated with allowing live broadcasts of court proceedings. Balancing transparency with the need for a fair and focused judicial process is a delicate task that courts must navigate. The decision of the Election tribunal to deny the request for a live telecast aims to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the judicial system, safeguarding the impartiality of judgments.