Tobi Soniyi in Lagos
The Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) has called on the court prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to engage President Muhammadu Buhari on the continued killings in the North-central and North-eastern parts of the country.
NCICC, in a statement, issued to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), called on the prosecutor to press Buhari to ensure accountability for the victims of the killings.
The statement which was jointly signed by the Chair and the Vice Chair respectively, of NCICC, Edmund Chinonye Obiagwu and Dr. Abiola Akiode -Afolabi, read: “As President Buhari attends the event of the Rome Statute at 20, we urge the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to engage the president on the continued killing in the North-central and North-east region and the non-accountability on the part of the state security.
“Nigeria though a state party of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has since the submission of its instrument of ratification on the September 27, 2001, failed to domesticate the Rome Statute into its national legislation in accordance with the provision of section 12 of the 1999 Constitution,” the group said.
The NCICC called on the Nigerian Government to join in the fight against impunity and domesticate the Rome Statute, and further reiterates the need for the National Assembly to expedite the domestication of the Rome Statute bill which comes up for public hearing on July 18, 2018.
NCICC also joined the rest of the world in the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the ICC (Rome Statute).
The Rome Statute which is the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court vested the court with power to exercise jurisdiction over international crimes to wit genocides, crimes against humanity, war crime and crime of aggression.
The International Criminal Court has so far recorded 26 cases, issued 32 arrest warrants and made verdict in 6cases with 8conviction and 2 acquittals, the most recent being that of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.
The NCICC said that in the rise of global violations of humanitarian laws and human right, there was no better time to support the court than now.
“To ensure a more just world, it is important for states to foster cooperation with the ICC by domesticating and implementing the Rome Statute’s provision of complementarity in their national legislation and prosecute international crimes committed within their territory,” the statement said.
It noted that despite Nigeria being listed as a preliminary examination country due to the armed conflict between Boko Haram and Nigerian Securities and different crimes committed in the Niger Delta region, the country continued to face more violations of human right and crimes violating international law.
NCICC said it was imperative at this time for Nigerian government to stand up for justice, domesticate the Rome Statute and prosecute these gross and frequent violations.