During the Office of the ICC Prosecutor’s most recent official visit to Nigeria, NCICC assisted the OTP in organising a meeting with Civil Society Organisations on the 26th of May 2017. Members of NCICC were well represented at the meeting; a short report of the is contained below.
Date: May 26, 2017
Venue: Ogun/Nasarawa Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Maitama, Abuja.
The meeting was convened by Mr Claus Molitor from the Office of the Prosecutor to the ICC, organised by NCICC, and chaired by Mr Benson Olugbuo from CLEEN Foundation.
The meeting commenced at 10:00am with a welcome note and briefing by the prosecutor.
Prosecutor Briefing and Discussion with CSOs:
In her briefing, the prosecutor noted that some African countries like Uganda, Congo, CAR, Mali, Cote d’ivoire, and Gabon had in the past referred cases to the ICC.
The representative from Women Advocate, Research and Development Centre (WARDC) stated that in the case of the 7 expatriates that were killed by Boko Haram, the prosecutor in the matter did not appear during court proceedings and this goes to the issue of Nigeria’s inability to prosecute war crimes. She inquired of the steps taken by the court to ensure that justice is done.
The forum emphasized on the need for better victim support. They assured the prosecutor of more active participation/input in the trust fund for victims.
Mr Ariyo of CDNDC, inquired of the level at which the rise in human casualties will attract the attention of the ICC. He also made reference to the Zaria incident which occasioned the killing of 347 persons.
In reply to the issues raised, the prosecutor stated that the ICC is not oblivious to the issues raised or the crimes perpetuated in the country, but that the court is in the process of investigating the crimes and determining whether it should prosecute or not. She also reiterated the complementarity principle which is the guiding principle for the court.
Mr Molitor noted that as for the crimes allegedly reported to be committed by the Fulanis, a specific group couldn’t be identified for the purpose of accountability. He further stated that the crimes in the North-East are being looked into.
The YouTube clip from the Knifar Movement was played. The prosecutor suggested that a petition be forwarded to the Nigerian Army’s board of inquiry.
The forum called for accountability in relation to time utilization, suggesting that a formal meeting/talks be held with some religious leaders.
Mr Eluchie of Colloquium on Genocide and War was of the opinion that the abduction of the Chibok girls was a fraud and was not carried out by the Boko Haram; the end result of which was to achieve political goals.
Mr Eluchie further stated that a petition to make large-scale corruption a crime against humanity was forwarded to the office of the ICC.
The prosecutor thanked all the attendees for their presence and for honouring the call on such short notice. Mr Olugbuo remarked that there is need for the NCICC to organize and hold more discussions on International Justice issues. The meeting came to an end at about 11:45am and group photos were taken.
List of Attendees:
1) Benson Chinedu Olugbuo, NCICC representative
2) Israel Eluchie, Colloquium on Genocide and War
3) Mrs Kellu Haruna; 3i) Mrs Fatima Bukar Buba; 3ii) Mr Shettima (the translator), Knifar movement
4) Jasper Ukachukwu, Centre for Democracy and Development
5) Osas Edward, CISLAC
6) Prisca Obika, WRAPA
7) Emmanuela Azu, WARDC
8) Emmanuel Ogebeh, US/Nigeria Law Group
9) Deji Adeyanju, Concerned Nigerians
10) Mr. Hassan Lawal, Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative
11) Abdulrahman Abubakar, Islamic Initiative on Human Rights
12) Bethran Emeka Ubaka, Persons with Disabilities Action Network
13) Ariyo Dare Atoye, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution