The Catholic Bishop Emeritus of Abuja Archdiocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has supported the calls for the live broadcast of Presidential Election Petition Tribunal proceedings.
The clergyman argued that the proceedings of the tribunal should not be conducted like a secret meeting because the voters have a right to know how their votes were being defended.
Onaiyekan stated this while addressing journalists after Mass to mark the end of this year’s 57th World Communication Week on Sunday.
He warned against the dangers of electoral malpractices, saying that rather than the politicians, the masses feel the direct impact of a rigged election.
Speaking further, Onaiyekan urged the judges to dispense justice fairly and allow its proceedings to be transparent so that Nigerians can rekindle their hope in the Judiciary.
He said, “As journalists, you do your job, cover everything, but try and listen to everybody and relay to the public what is happening because they want to see.
“Isn’t it why it is important the petition before the tribunal, the possibility that the tribunal should be available to all of us to be able to follow what is happening?
“For me, this is very important; one thing that Nigerians don’t seem to realize is that when elections are rigged, it is not the contestants or the politicians who are worst hit.
“Those who are the most impacted are me and you, but as it stands, we don’t even have locus standi in court. We are the ones who should be complaining in court that my votes have been bastardized, but they tell me I cannot go to court because I did not contest the election.
“If we cannot go and make our case, at least let us see what is happening inside there. We believe that our honourable judges will do their best to make judgements that are correct, they do what is right.
“Everybody will see it and it will help to calm nerves, we will know that the right thing has been done.”
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