In a recent development, Kenneth Okonkwo, leader of the Work Party Clan and a renowned attorney, took to social media to announce that the request for live media coverage of court proceedings had been denied by the five-member board of Allure Court Judges, who oversee the Official Political Decision Petitions Council.
It is important to note that both the Labour Party (LP) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidates had submitted requests two weeks ago to have the court proceedings of the election petition tribunal streamed live to the public. This request aimed to uphold the constitutional requirement for transparency. However, both the All Reformists Congress (APC) and the Independent Public Appointments Commission (INEC) opposed these requests.
On Monday, May 22, 2023, Kenneth Okonkwo, a member of the Labour Party’s legal team, revealed through a series of tweets on his Twitter account that the judges had rejected the petitioners’ request for live streaming of the tribunal proceedings.
He claimed that despite the officials’ assertions that the constitutional provision implied by the candidates does not extend to live broadcasts of court proceedings, the sole authority to grant such requests lies with the directors of the legal executive.
This development raises questions about the transparency and openness of the electoral process. The denial of live media coverage of court proceedings may prevent the public from closely following the legal proceedings and understanding the arguments presented by the parties involved. Transparency and accountability are essential in ensuring a fair and just electoral system.
As the political landscape in Nigeria continues to evolve, it is crucial for all stakeholders to prioritize transparency and uphold the principles of democracy. The decision regarding live media coverage of court proceedings highlights the ongoing discussions around the accessibility of information and the public’s right to know about the electoral process.