The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a preliminary determination to investigate Nigerian security forces over allegations of “crimes against humanity” and “war crimes”,
This is coming on the heels of allegations human rights abuses against the country’s security forces in the north-east and other parts of Nigeria.
The determination, issued on Friday was silent on the specifics — such as the Lekki shootings — but declared “are also sufficiently grave to warrant investigation” by ICC.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
Fatou Bensouda, the outgoing ICC prosecutor, said there is “reasonable basis to believe that members of the Nigerian Security Forces (“NSF”) have committed the following acts constituting crimes against humanity and war crimes: murder, rape, torture, and cruel treatment; enforced disappearance; forcible transfer of population; outrages upon personal dignity; intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such and against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities; unlawful imprisonment; conscripting and enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into armed forces and using them to participate actively in hostilities; persecution on gender and political grounds; and other inhumane acts”.
She added that the allegations “are also sufficiently grave to warrant investigation by my Office, both in quantitative and qualitative terms. My Office will provide further details in our forthcoming annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities”.