Insecurity: ICC receives 131 petitions from Nigeria

By Taiwo Ojoye

Gbenro Adeoye and Jesusegun Alagbe

The International Criminal Court in the Hague, the Netherlands, said it had received 131 petitions from Nigeria based on killings and general insecurity in the country.

The ICC stated this in its latest Preliminary Examination Activities Report on Nigeria.

The court stated that the petitions received were in respect of crimes allegedly committed by the Nigerian security forces against civilians during its war against Boko Haram; against members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria; and against members of the Indigenous People of Biafra in the course of their 2017 protests.

The court also stated that some of the petitions received were in relation to crimes committed against humanity in the Middle Belt and Niger Delta areas of the country.

Several Nigerian groups and persons – including the Christian Association of Nigeria – had in recent times said they would drag the Federal Government before the ICC due to persistent killings carried out by armed bandits in the Middle Belt and alleged military attacks against pro-Biafra protesters among others.

The report was made available in response to Saturday PUNCH’s request on the number of petitions from the country based on the persistent killings, particularly in the Middle Belt.

Saturday PUNCH had also asked whether the petitions were being worked on and if anyone was indicted in its findings.

Responding in an email, the court stated that under Article 15 of the Rome Statute, individuals or groups from anywhere in the world might send information (also referred to as ‘communications’) on alleged crimes to the ICC Prosecutor (Mrs. Fatou Bensouda), who was duty bound to protect the confidentiality of the information received.

It said, “As we do with all such communications, we will analyse the materials submitted, as appropriate, in accordance with the Rome Statute and with full independence and impartiality.

“As soon as we reach a decision on the appropriate next step, we will inform the sender and provide reasons for our decision.

“In case of interest, I refer you to the latest Report on Preliminary Examinations Activities, the Policy Paper on Preliminary Examination of the Office of the Prosecutor as well as the link to the Nigeria situation.”

Meanwhile, in the stated Report on Preliminary Examinations Activities on Nigeria, which was published on December 4, 2017, the court said, “The Office …read more

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