Atedo Peterside, founder and CEO of Anap Foundation and Stanbic IBTC Bank, has pleaded with the judges of the Supreme Court to look beyond technicalities when reviewing the appeal of the Presidential Tribunal judgement brought before it by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
Peterside, whose non-political organisation, Anap Foundation helped with providing valuable information regarding pre-2023 election matters, urged the apex court judges to focus more on the larger picture, which perhaps would appeal to the sensitivity of most Nigerians.
The Anap Foundation CEO aired this view when he appeared on the Arise Television News Night programme on Tuesday.
“Well, I am not trying to second-guess the Supreme Court judges, but all I am trying to point out is that I hope they will look at the big picture—I am concerned equally about the future and what this portends for us,” Peterside said.
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Earlier, during the interview, Peterside pointed out some issues he’d like the judiciary and the Supreme Court in particular to look at. Issues he maintained should make them reconsider in order to save democracy in the country.
Some of those issues include the role of technology in future elections and candidate qualification issues post-nomination by political parties.
“Do we not request complete clarity on a pre-election matter versus a post-election matter? Do we have that clarity now? Will the Supreme Court help us out there?” he asked.
Other pertinent questions asked were: “Is the 2022 electoral act now effectively repealed?”
He also asked if, going forward, Nigerians should disregard all future INEC press statements—if the press statements have no meaning.
“If an umpire cannot bring out the certified true copies of his own work, what is he there for,” he said.
“Where it is proven that INEC staff falsified a polling unit result before uploading the same on iREV, should there be any consequence for its criminal actions?”
He voiced his frustration over the political happenings, saying that if the status quo continues, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should as well announce the winners of the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Edo states.
He noted that the Supreme Court pronouncements on Atiku and Obi’s appeal could have far-reaching implications, especially as people may get the impression that Nigeria is not a country where you can do business “and rely on judges to clearly interpret every single, then they will vote with their feet.”
Peterside advises the esteem judges, saying, “We don’t want the Supreme Court judges to be relying on all sorts of minor technicalities to dodge the bigger issues.
“Everybody is waiting on those big issues, and the Supreme Court should boldly pronounce on them so that we know how to handle ourselves in the future.