International Criminal Court President Visits Nigeria, Silent on IPOB 

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By Bayo Akinloye 
 

The President of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Chile Eboe-Osuji, who concluded his official visit to Nigeria last week, has called for the federal government’s support to fight against impunity “for the gravest crimes but was silent on the petitions of the Indigenous People of Biafra and the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project.

The ICC was petitioned last year to investigate the alleged killings, torture and human rights abuses of IPOB members by soldiers of the Nigerian Army.

Also in 2017, SERAP had petitioned the international court to consider 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 Yar’Adua, and Goodluck Jonathan,” whether they amount to crimes against humanity.

According to a statement made available to THISDAY by the ICC, Eboe-Osuji, who was in Nigeria from April 10 to 13, met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata, and other senior government officials.

“The ICC president expressed gratitude for Nigeria’s strong commitment to the court, which was reaffirmed by the senior authorities during the meetings held. President Eboe-Osuji underlined that the active support of States is crucial in re-energising the mission of the ICC, of which Nigeria is a founding and important member. He recalled that victims are at the heart of the Court’s mandate, which aims to provide justice to those who have suffered the worst atrocities, as well as protect populations from future crimes.

“President Eboe-Osuji further emphasised that the Court is keen to work together with states in Africa to bolster the fight against impunity for the gravest international crimes, and he hoped to count on Nigeria’s support in taking that process forward,” the statement said.