Cardinal John Onaiyekan, the Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Abuja, has urged the Judicial arm of the government to permit the live broadcast of the proceedings of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC). He emphasized that such a broadcast would give Nigerians the opportunity to closely follow the case and stay informed about its developments.
Speaking to journalists during the World Communications Day celebration at St. Gabriel Chapel in Abuja, Cardinal Onaiyekan expressed the desire of Nigerians to witness the ongoing cases before the Tribunal. He stressed the importance of making these petitions accessible to the public so that everyone can stay informed about the proceedings.
The Cardinal advised journalists to attentively listen to all sides and effectively relay the information to the public. He emphasized that Nigerians want transparency and accountability, and being able to witness the proceedings would contribute to fulfilling this desire.
Cardinal Onaiyekan highlighted the impact of rigged elections on ordinary citizens, emphasizing that it is the voters who suffer the most when their votes are invalidated. He expressed concern about the lack of locus standi for citizens to challenge the electoral process in court. He stated that even if citizens cannot directly make their case in court, they should at least have the opportunity to observe the proceedings to ensure transparency.
The Cardinal expressed his faith in the judiciary and its ability to deliver fair and just judgments. He believed that broadcasting the proceedings would help build trust among the populace and alleviate tensions by demonstrating that justice is being served. He emphasized that transparency in the judiciary is crucial for the country’s progress and the well-being of its citizens.
Cardinal Onaiyekan also questioned the secrecy surrounding certain witnesses and called for greater transparency. He believed that if there is information that should not be known or shared, then it should not be done in the first place. He encouraged the judiciary to adopt new approaches and embrace change to address the shortcomings of the current system.
In conclusion, the Cardinal stressed that all eyes are on the court as Nigerians eagerly await the outcome of the cases. He emphasized that effective communication should aim to build unity and trust, rather than create divisions and sadness. He expressed hope and prayers that the court would fulfill its responsibilities and complete the task that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had started.