John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, has recently urged the judiciary to allow live broadcasts of the proceedings of the Presidential Election Tribunals in a plea for accountability and openness.
This action aims to provide enhanced transparency and public confidence in the judicial process amid significant electoral disputes. Given his stature as a powerful figure and his dedication to social justice, Cardinal Onaiyekan’s appeal carries a lot of weight.
In his statement, Cardinal Onaiyekan stressed the importance of transparency in the judicial system, particularly during the adjudication of electoral disputes. He emphasized that allowing live broadcasts of the Presidential Election Tribunals’ proceedings would foster greater public trust in the judiciary. By granting access to these proceedings, citizens would have an opportunity to witness firsthand the legal arguments and evidence presented by all parties involved. This transparency would help dispel any doubts or suspicions surrounding the fairness and integrity of the electoral process.
The cardinal’s plea for live broadcasts aligns with the global trend of promoting transparency in governance and the judiciary. Many countries have already implemented similar measures to provide citizens with unfettered access to court proceedings, particularly in high-profile cases or those with significant public interest. By broadcasting the tribunal hearings live, Nigeria would be taking a step toward embracing international best practices and enhancing its democratic credentials. It would also serve as a deterrent against corruption, as public scrutiny would discourage any attempts to manipulate the judicial process.
Live broadcasts of election tribunal hearings may also help to inform and educate the public on the legal ramifications of electoral disputes. Citizens could better appreciate the challenges posed by election petitions and the applicable legal requirements by observing the arguments and legal maneuvers used by the parties. A more politically engaged and informed populace could result from this enhanced awareness through more informed public dialogue and engagement on governance-related issues.
Ultimately, Cardinal Onaiyekan’s demand for live broadcasts of the sessions of the Presidential Election Tribunals shows the expanding demand for openness and accountability in Nigeria’s legal system. The judges can boost public confidence, allay concerns, and protect the voting system’s integrity by adopting this suggestion.
Although privacy and security issues must be carefully taken into account, the potential advantages of greater public engagement and understanding outweigh the difficulties. An important step toward enhancing democracy and assuring the impartial resolution of electoral disputes in Nigeria would be to broadcast judicial sessions live.