Is the Presidential Election Petition Court afraid of media scrutiny? On Monday, May 22, 2023, it ruled against live media coverage.
Today, May 23, 2023, it became clear that it is seeking to bar journalists from entering the court with their phones. which is the only tool used by journalists in modern times for their work.
Journalists and Rights Advocate, Lemmy Ughegbe raised these concerns on Tuesday after an order of the court barring persons from entering the court with phones was pasted on the court entrance door.
He noted that since 1999, no election court has dared to conceive such a thought.
“Unlike INEC which failed to deliver on its promise to upload election results in real-time, the media feeds the public with development from the court in real-time and they used their phones to do that.
“How is this injurious to the said election court? How does a journalist using his phone to file reports in real time to feed the eager public compromise the security of the panelists? When the court misdirects itself to court trouble and erodes public confidence and trust by acting in ways that hinder media coverage, the judiciary and indeed the said election court should not later cry wolf when they have chosen earlier to be the wolf.
“If you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, you stay out. The media cannot be hindered. This is not a criminal matter. Rather, it is a matter of grave public interest and therefore Nigerians home and abroad as well as friends of Nigeria hunger to be fed real-time.”