Pro-democracy Group Seeks ICC’s Intervention over Killings in Nigeria

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

A group known as Democracy Vanguard of Nigerians in Diaspora (DVND) has petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC) over an alleged genocidal killings of some Nigerians in the last four years.

The non-governmental, non-profit and human rights organisation, which is involved in a global network for the protection of democratic processes around the world, and especially on the continent of Africa, said it is constrained to write the ICC, drawing its attention to the threat being posed to the Nigerian democracy and the continuing human rights abuses.

In a letter addressed to the Special Prosecutor of ICC titled: ‘Act of genocide and crimes against humanity in Nigeria’, the group urged the international body to act promptly.

In the letter signed by the President of the group, Timothy A. Sule, DVND said: “As a group, we are tired of the endless carnage going on in Nigeria, and we feel very strongly that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari cannot be exonerated from the ongoing continuous pogrom against a people of a religion and ethnic configuration.

“As you already know Sir, Nigeria is a state party to the Rome Statute, therefore, the ICC has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed on the territory of Nigeria or by its nationals from July 1, 2002.

“Having concluded that some of the alleged crimes committed in Nigeria fall within the subject-matter jurisdiction of the ICC, the Office of the Special Prosecutor is vehemently urged to carry out independent investigation of constant killings with a view to trying and punishing the culprits.”

The group wants ICC to as a matter of urgency set up a committee to carry out relevant assessment and investigation of the contemporary national security issues in conformity with the ICC principle of complementarity.

It added: “Currently, rising conflict between herders and farmers in Nigeria is already 10 times deadlier than Boko Haram insurgency. This is certainly a cause for worry.

“The Nigerian Government has refused, neglected, declined to stop the bloodshed; improve security, end impunity and or even retire the military chiefs and or investigate them and all other members of the Nigerian security services at all levels implicated in this unconscionable unleashing of terror by the Nigerian army and police on the citizens of the country as demanded by Nigerians of goodwill.

“We state once again that Nigerian lives are sacred. No human is dispensable. Lives must be protected just as the dead who also deserve respect after death with decent burial.”

While calling on the ICC to immediately stand up to its sworn duty to the international community by investigating, arresting and prosecuting the various entities involved in the crimes against humanity in Nigeria, the group said Nigerians are tired of the unending terror.