Nigerian lawmakers seek open coverage of court proceedings

House of Representatives
House of Representatives

A bill seeking to provide for open coverage of court proceedings with a view to making the Judiciary more transparent and accountable, on Wednesday passed through second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill sponsored by Daniel Reyneiju (PDP-Delta) is titled, “A Bill for an Act to provide for media coverage of court proceedings and for other related matters’’.

Leading debate on the general principles of the bill, Mr. Reyneiju said that the judiciary as an arm of government should be covered by the media which mirrors the society.

He observed that of all issues handled by the law courts, the issues of reportage of cases being handled by judges were suffering.

The lawmaker argued that the open coverage of court proceedings would enhance the independence of the judiciary as well as transparency and accountability.

The Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaking in favour of the bill, said that the bill when passed into law would enhance accountability and transparency in the third arm of government.

He added that the proposed legislation would also enhance the workings of democracy and ensure that justice was not only done, but served.

Also supporting the bill, Olajide Jimoh (APC-Lagos) said that the passage of the bill was crucial for transparency and for the eradication of corruption.

In his contribution, Emma Egoh (PDP- Lagos) said that the bill when passed into law would forestall the perversion of the course of justice.

The bill was then unanimously passed by members.

The Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who presided over the session, referred it to the Committee on Judiciary for further legislative action.


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