The National Judicial Council (NJC), at its next meeting is to consider a request seeking its nod for live broadcast of proceedings in Nigerian courts.
NJC secretary, Mr Halilu Danladi, stated this in a reply to an Abuja-based Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), which made the request recently.
“I have been directed to inform you that your request will be considered by the council at its next meeting. The meeting will take place between November 2 and 3,” the statement reads in part.
“The outcome of the deliberation will be communicated to your office,’’ Danladi stated in the letter dated October 21. The letter was addressed to the Executive Director of CASER, Mr Frank Tietie.
CASER had written to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman of the NJC. The letter sought the council’s approval for live relays of court proceedings to Nigerians.
The civil rights advocacy group had told the CJN that opening up the courts to Nigerians would enhance greater transparency in the country’s justice delivery system.
In its first letter dated February 26, CASER said the “rising public consciousness of the role of the courts in ensuring justice, public order and also stability of Nigeria necessitated its request.’’
CASER sends NJC a reminder
On October 20, the group wrote the CJN again. It noted that recent allegation of corruption against some judges had further underscored the importance and urgency of its request.
“CASER believes that live media broadcast of court proceedings will debunk corruption. It will also help in sustaining the integrity of the judiciary in Nigeria.
“Live broadcast of court proceedings in Nigeria has foundation in the constitutional provision of Section 36 (3) and also (4).
“The section expressly provides, in general terms, that court proceedings in Nigeria shall be held in public. Therefore, CASER believes that nothing can be more or less ‘public’ than that.’’
The group told the CJN that it will seek judicial interpretation of Section 34 (3) as well as (4) on the matter, should he refuse to consider its request.