By John Chuksazu
The Federal Government has expressed dismay over the escalation of eight cases of crimes against humanity against Nigeria by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.
The ICC escalated the eight cases with six against the Boko Haram sect and two against the Nigerian military after its preliminary examination and investigation.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), conveyed Nigeria’s position yesterday when he received the President of ICC, Nigeria-born Justice Chile Eboe-Osuji, in his office in Abuja.
Malami said the indictment was coming despite Nigeria’s support to the international body, including the payment of assessed arrears of contributions owed ICC by Nigeria valued at €1.3m after the election of Justice Eboe-Osuji.
“This is worrisome as Nigeria has demonstrated beyond doubt and 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 Statutes of the ICC,” he said.
The AGF promised to use the platform of the African Union (AU) to persuade African states, including the Philippines, that had withdrawn or were threatening to withdraw their membership from the court to have a rethink.
In his response, Justice Eboe-Osuji, who harped on the need for African leaders to make reforms, thanked the attorney general and President Muhammadu Buhari for their support to the ICC.
He said the Article 27 of the Rome Statutes, which provided that no head of state shall enjoy immunity as a check against impunity, had been misunderstood to be targeting African leaders.