Press Statement

Press Statement: 9th September, 2013.

NCICC CONDEMNS KENYAN PARLIAMENT’S DECISION TO WITHDRAW FROM ICC

Nigeria Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) condemns the decision of the Kenyan Parliament to withdraw as a member of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Members of Parliament passeda motion to introduce a bill within the next 30 days to withdraw from the ICC Rome Statute. The motion was brought by the Jubilee alliance—a coalition of political parties supporting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto - which argues that the ICC cases against the two, along with journalist Joshua Sang, are politically motivated. This comes as the trial of the Kenyan deputy president, Williams Ruto, is set to open before the ICC in The Hague, on atrocities committed during Kenya’s 2008 post-election violence, scheduled to start on the 9th of September, 2013.

This act by the Kenyan government is a move to protect government officials involved in committing atrocities against its citizens who suffered from post-election violence in 2008 and are awaiting justice.

Kenya will be the first state party to leave the ICC and this will be a setback for the ICC in the fight against impunity in Africa. ICC Prosecutor has said that this will not affect the upcoming trials of the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto “as justice must run its course”.

NCICC strongly condemns this action and sees it as an act by the Kenyan government to promote impunity by protecting the president and deputy president who are alleged to be involved in committing atrocities against its citizens. NCICC also approves the decision of the ICC to continue with the trials against the Kenyan President and the Deputy President despite the withdrawal.

Chino Obiagwu, Chair Steering committee of NCICC

Dr Abiola Akiyode, Vice Chair NCICC

Oby Nwankwo, Treasurer NCICC


Press statement: Release date 7th August 2013

OTP Report on On-going Preliminary Examination of the situation in Nigeria.

Nigeria Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) commends the landmark report of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on its on-going preliminary examination of the situation in North Eastern Nigeria.

Based on information available to the OTP up to December 2012, the office has determined that there is reasonable ground to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Nigeria by Boko Haram, a militant group operating mainly in North Eastern Nigeria since July, 2009. Boko Haram has been found to have committed the following acts constituting crimes against humanity:

(i) Murder under Article 7(1)(a); and

(ii) Persecution under Article 7(1)(h) of the Rome Statute of the ICC;

The prosecutor has therefore, decided that the preliminary examination of the situation in Nigeria should advance to phase 3 (admissibility) with a view to assessing whether the Nigerian government is conducting genuine proceedings against the perpetrators of these crimes.

This is second of the four phases in the Prosecutor’s preliminary examination of the situation in Nigeria. The completion of all phases will determine whether the prosecutor will enter a full investigation.

NCICC applaud these findings and call on the ICC to continue in their unrelenting efforts in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.

NCICC is also calling on the ICC to look into pending petitions filed by NCICC concerning crimes against humanity and genocide in North Central Nigeria, particularly in Plateau State, as a firm decision is required to ensure justice to the victims and end impunity in Nigeria.

Chino Obiagwu, Chair Steering committee of NCICC

Dr Abiola Akiyode, Vice Chair NCICC

Mrs Oby Nwankwo, Treasurer NCICC


Press statement: release date: 15 July 2013

NCICC calls for immediate arrest and surrender to ICC of President Al Bashir

Nigeria Coalition on the International Criminal Court NCICC condemns the hosting of President Omar Al Bashir by the Nigeria government and calls for his immediate arrest and surrender to the trial chambers of the International Criminal Court in The Hague for atrocity crimes in Darfur for which he is charged. Failure of Nigeria to do so will be a brazen disregard of its international treaty obligation under Article 89 of the Rome Statute of the ICC which it has ratified since 2001. Such failure also undermines the pursuit of international justice, peace and security which are the objectives of the ICC.

Nigeria nominated a judge to the court in 2011, and has made previous contributions to the setting up and continued functioning of the court. It will amount to grave diplomatic blunder for the Jonathan administration to invite and give full ceremonial reception to war crime indictee, in disregard of millions of victims of Darfur atrocities and their families, some of them Nigeria citizens, who are still crying for justice.

The ICC is the only credible institution to fight impunity in the world, and when ICC is undermined it is a direct support for impunity. In Darfur in Sudan, and in many parts of Africa, victims of massive violations of human rights, including civilians not involved in direct armed conflict have been victims of pillaging, killing, rape, torture etc. The national institutions and political leaderships in most of the countries in the continent are incapable, unable or unwilling to provide redress to victims. From Rwanda to Uganda, Central Africa Republic to Sudan, the ICC has given hope of justice to millions of hapless victims of war atrocities, who otherwise would live and die without getting justice.

We have this morning filed a suit at the Federal high court Abuja seeking for arrest warrant of President Omar Al Bashir. The judiciary in this country has the responsibility to implement legal obligations created by treaties undertaken by Nigeria. As a state party to the Rome statute of the ICC, Nigeria is under legal obligation to execute within its national jurisdiction the arrest warrants issued by the trial chamber of the ICC against Mr Al Bashir while in its national territory.

It is not an excuse that African Union is calling its members not to cooperate with the ICC. The obligation of State Parties to the ICC, who have ratified the treaty, is stronger and legally binding than mere resolution of the African Union. Moreso Nigeria judge is in the chambers of the ICC.

Failure to do so will further deteriorate Nigeria’s diplomatic reputation under this administration and questions the government commitment to fight impunity here in Nigeria and in Africa.

Chino Obiagwu, chair Steering committee of NCICC

Dr Abiola Akiyode, Vice Chair NCICC

Mrs Oby Nwankwo, Treasurer NCICC

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