Group wants live broadcast of court proceedings to enhance transparency

Posted by News Express | 22 October 2016 | 2,821 times

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The Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER) has renewed its call to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to approve live broadcast of court proceedings in the country.

In a reminder to the CJN dated Oct. 20, the Executive Director of CASER, Mr. Frank Tietie, emphasised that live broadcast of court proceedings would enhance transparency of justice delivery in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Abuja-based rights group started the campaign in a letter to the CJN on Feb. 26.

Tietie said that the call was necessitated by rising public consciousness of “the role of the courts in ensuring justice, public order and the stability of Nigeria.”

In the latest letter, he argued that the current allegation of corruption against some judges had underscored the need for court proceedings to be held in public.

Tietie hinged his campaign on Section 36 (3) and (4) of the Constitution which provides for public court hearing in both criminal and civil cases involving individuals and organisations.

He stated that “your Lordship, earlier in February 2016, CASER addressed a letter to you humbly requesting Your Lord to consider and approve live media broadcast of court proceedings.

“This is to expand wider access to court activities in pursuit of transparency and building public confidence in the judicial process so as to enhance democratic culture among Nigerians.

“CASER is convinced that live media broadcast of court proceedings will debunk corruption and help in sustaining the integrity of the judiciary in Nigeria.

“Live broadcast of court proceedings in Nigeria has its foundation in the constitutional provision of Section 36 (3) and (4).

“The section expressly provides, in general terms, that court proceedings in Nigeria shall be held in public.

“It is, therefore, the view of CASER that nothing can be more or less ‘public’ than live media broadcast of court proceedings.”

Tietie noted that neither the CJN nor other relevant authorities to whom the first letter was copied had replied before the reminder.

He said that the group had resolved to seek judicial interpretation of Section 34 (3) and (4) on the matter, should the CJN refuse to accede to its request. (NAN)

•Photo shows CJN Mahmud Mohammed.

Source: News Express

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