The ICC is already investigating killings in Jos, Plateau.
Rights campaign group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has formally requested an investigation by the International Criminal Court into the Baga killings, in which between 30 and 200 people are said to have died in clashes between soldiers and Boko Haram members.
In a letter to the UN body on May 3, SERAP urged the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to facilitate a visit of the court to Baga, interview important witnesses and collect vital evidence that can be used to bring perpetrators to justice for international crimes.
“Given the weak criminal justice system and the fact that successive governments have shown themselves to be either unwilling or unable to implement recommendations by national agencies let alone prosecute suspected perpetrators of international crimes in places like Jos,” SERAP said in the request filed by its solicitor, Femi Falana, “the intervention by the ICC will ensure that the truth is told about what happened, and provide the much needed international accountability and ensure effective remedies for victims and their families.”
The ICC has already opened investigations, on the request of SERAP, into allegations of extrajudicial killings in Jos, Plateau State where years of communal strife have left more than a thousand dead.
In Baga, the exact number of those killed during the clash between soldiers and members of the extremist sect, Boko Haram, remain conflicting. While residents claim nearly 200 people were killed and thousands of houses torched, military authorities say only about 30 died.
SERAP said it believed that substantial grounds exist to warrant the intervention of the Prosecutor in this case, especially given the scale of the killings and destruction and the lack of transparency and accountability.
It also requested the intervention by the ICC to go beyond the situation in Baga, and include cases of extra-judicial execution that continue to take place in the country.
“In fact, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke (SAN) revealed at a public event marking the Human Rights Day on December 10, 2012 that the Police alone had killed 7,108 persons in four years,” the organization said.
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