FG bothered as ICC steps up investigation of 8 cases against Nigeria – Malami
– AGF Abubakar Malami says the Nigerian government is concerned about the eight cases being investigated by the ICC
– Malami says Nigeria is country that believes in rule of law and prosecution of those found to have committed any of such offences – Prof Chile Osuji says article 27 of the Rome statute is not targeted at African leaders The federal government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and minister of justice, Abubabakar Malami (SAN), has said it is worried that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is unrelenting in pursuing eight cases against Nigeria. The Punch reports that Malami said this on Thursday, April 12, while playing host to the newly elected president of the ICC, Prof Chile Osuji, at his office in Abuja. According to the report, Malami said the ICC had escalated eight potential cases against Nigeria from the initial preliminary examination to preliminary investigation.
It was learnt that six of the cases were said to be against Boko Haram and two against the military. Malami complained that the stepping up of the investigation against Nigeria was troubling especially because the government had demonstrated its willingness and ability to arrest, investigate and prosecute anyone that committed any offence that fell within the Rome statute of the ICC.
“Presently, the ICC has escalated the eight potential cases against Nigeria – six against the Boko Haram and two against the military – from the initial preliminary examination to preliminary investigation. “This is worrisome, as Nigeria has demonstrated beyond doubt, and in absolute cooperation with the ICC, that it is willing and able and, as a matter of fact, it is indeed arresting, investigating and prosecuting anyone that commits any offence that falls within the Rome Statute of the ICC. “The above being the case, Nigeria views the escalation of the eight potential cases as uncalled for in the circumstance,” he said while assuring the ICC president that since Nigeria is a country that believes in the operation of the rule of law, fundamental freedom and the need to fight impunity in all ramifications, the escalation of the eight potential cases would not deter us from further expressing and demonstrating support to the ICC.
In his response, Osuji commended Nigeria for its support to the ICC. He also assured that the ICC would continue to work against injustice and abuse of powers in its area of jurisdiction just as he described as inaccurate and erroneous the impression that article 27 of the Rome Statute that prohibits immunity being extended to any head of state or senior government officials was targeted at African leaders.