In Abuja, the Presidential Election Petition Court heard evidence from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday in response to the Peoples Democratic Party’s request for “an order directing the Court’s Registry and the parties on modalities for admission of media practitioners and their equipment into the courtroom.”
The PDP’s lawyer, Chris Uche SAN, informed the court that his pre-hearing information sheet was submitted on April 27 and that he had adopted the responses therein.
However, he stated that despite serving all respondents with his motion for live transmission dated May 5, he had not yet received a response. He therefore asked for an urgent judgement on the matter.
“We urge the court to permit the televising of the proceedings, especially at this critical moment in the nation,” Mr Uche pleaded.
However, INEC’s lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud SAN, responded in open court to Mr Uche, stating he would only answer after speaking with his client.
“We will, of course, be needing time to respond, we were served yesterday, we need to take instructions from our client and respond appropriately,” he said.
Chief Tomi Aliyu SAN, who represented Bola Tinubu, said he was planning to answer the case in accordance with the court’s guidelines.
Aside from that, he requested the court to dismiss or strike down the PDP’s plea.
Lateef Fagbemi SAN, who represented the APC, verified receipt of the PDP’s motion for live transmission.
“My immediate response is that you will hear from us within the time allowed by the rules of court,” Mr Fagbemi said.
However, Mr Uche urged the court that in the spirit of collaboration already agreed upon by the parties, the respondents should serve any motions they have on him immediately in order to save time.
Mr Uche stressed that if the pre-hearing process was to be shortened, the respondents must react to his petition soon.
However, Mr Fagbemi stated that he will not be forced to violate court rules in order to answer to procedures served on him within the time limit.
“Nothing can be done outside the rules,” Mr Fagbemi said in response to Mr Uche.
The case was therefore postponed until May 11 at 2 p.m. for additional pre-hearing by the five-member panel, which was chaired by Justice Haruna Tsammani.
He advised counsels to rank the issues they wanted to have settled at this time in order of importance.
The judge decided to evaluate the PDP’s request for live hearing streaming with all other applications.