Christopher Ike and Chiamaka Akumka
The International Criminal Court in The Hague is considering the petition on the allegations of widespread, systematic, and large-scale corruption in the electricity sector since the return of democracy in 1999 and under the governments of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, anti-corruption advocacy group Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has confirmed.
In a statement yesterday by SERAP Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, organisation said: â€œSERAP can confirm that the ICC is now considering our petition. We have received communication from Mark P. Dillon, Head of Information and Evidence Unit of the ICC, indicating that the court will give due consideration to our petition.â€
According to SERAP, the information is contained in a letter with reference number OTP-CR-245/17 received by the organisation. SERAP quoted the letter as reading in parts: â€œThis communication has been duly entered in the Communications Register of the Office. We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. As soon as a decision is reached, we will inform you, in writing, and provide you with reasons for this decision.â€
Timothy Adewale said: â€œSERAP appreciates the prompt attention to this matter by the ICC. We urge the court to pursue this matter to a satisfactory conclusion by taking the case forward as required by the provisions of the Rome Statute, and ensuring a thorough investigation and prosecution of suspected perpetrators of grand corruption in the electricity sector in Nigeria.â€
SERAP last week sent a petition to Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor the ICC asking her to use her â€œgood office and leadership position to investigate whether the allegations of widespread, systematic and large-scale corruption in the electricity sector since the return of democracy in 1999 and under the governments of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua and Goodluck Jonathan amount to crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, and to prevail on the Nigerian government to surrender all suspected perpetrators for trial by the ICC.â€
Office of the Prosecutor Nigeria is a state party to the Rome Statute and deposited its instrument of ratification on 27 September 2001. In the petition dated 16 August 2017, the organisation said that, â€œallegations of corruption in the electricity sector in Nigeria have had catastrophic effects on the lives of millions of Nigerians, akin to crimes against humanity as contemplated under the Rome Statue and within