Buhari’s Invitation by ICC, an Indictment, Says PDP

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Netherlands was a sign of reprimand for the spate of bloodletting, extra-judicial executions, illegal arrests, arbitrary detention, torture and reported disappearances in the country.

The party asked the president to use his attendance of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the ICC Rome Statute to report his administration to the court over documented human right abuses, crime against humanity and killings in Nigeria under his watch.

In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the main opposition party, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said the fact that President Buhari was the only head of state invited to the event showed that the world was particularly alarmed by the spate of bloodletting, extra-judicial executions, illegal arrests, arbitrary detention, torture and reported disappearances, as captured in the reports by the United States Department of State, Amnesty International (AI) and Transparency International (TI).

The PDP also noted that contrary to the effort by the presidency to present the invitation as positive for the Buhari presidency, the administration has a lot of questions to answer.
“What the presidency seeks to hide from Nigerians is that the ICC Rome Statute deals directly with critical issues of crime against humanity, which is already prevalent in Nigeria under President Buhari’s watch.

“The PDP recalls that it had earlier filed a petition at the United Nations (UN) against the Buhari administration over issues of human rights violations in our country,” it said.

The party called on the ICC to take President Buhari to task on the documented abuse of human rights in Nigeria, particularly, the US Department of State 2017 Human Right Report, which catalogued issues of extrajudicial and arbitrary killings; disappearances and arbitrary detentions and torture, particularly in detention facilities in Nigeria under this administration.