Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
The Federal Government has reiterated its “unwavering commitment” to ending impunity, providing justice for victims and awarding punishment to perpetrators of crimes.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), made this known Tuesday while presenting Nigeria’s position during the opening of the five-day 18th session of the assembly of state parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Hague, the Netherlands.
In a statement issued his Special Assistant (Media), Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice was quoted as saying that Nigeria is also committed to criminalization of starvation as a weapon of war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
While recalling that the idea of criminalization of starvation as a weapon of war crime mooted by Switzerland, Malami emphasized Nigeria’s call on all State Parties to jointly support the treaty
Malami also decried the numerous challenges the International Criminal Court had been facing including increasing attacks against the ICC and its officials, possibilities of further withdrawals from the Rome Statute, weakening of the Rome Statute system and its support across the globe, retreat in multilateral engagement and rising tides of hostility, discrimination, and repression around the world.
“It is the desire of Nigeria to see ICC overcome all its present challenges and become a global, independent and impartial Court with capability to rid the world of impunity – the type that characterized World War one and two,” the Minister said.
He added that Nigeria was also determined to work together with State Parties to oppose efforts to undermine the works of the Court and its independence and impartiality.
According to him, “In particular Nigeria strongly condemns threats made against the ICC in some parts of the world, its officials, and those cooperating with the Court.
“Nigeria considers such attacks as calculated attempts to undermine and cripple fight against impunity and the laying of a solid foundation for a peaceful and just world, not only for the present generation, but also for the unborn generations.”
The Minister also reiterated Nigeria’s call on all civilized nations of the world to rise up to the critical challenge, adding that they must safeguard the present and future generations from extermination.
Malami further explained that Nigeria was committed to recognizing the Rome Statute system of justice as key in advancing accountability at the international and national level for sexual and gender-based violence and violence against children as grave crimes, including as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Informing the gathering that the Boko Haram elements have been considerably decimated through the efforts of the Nigerian Security Forces and the support of our proximate neighbours and other friendly states, he added that gradually normalcy was returning and Nigeria was coming out of the woods and will come out of the numerous cases initiated against the country at the ICC.
According to the Minister, “Nigeria is not a jungle, it is a peace and justice loving country which is aspiring to develop and create conducive environment for foreign and other investments, thereby generating jobs and other opportunities for the teeming population.”
He added that impunity being a critical element that could prevent this lofty ideas from fruition does not have a place and will never be tolerated in all facets of the nation’s criminal justice system.