The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), is calling on the UN Security Council to sanction the Nigerian government for failing to arrest President Omar Al-Bashir and surrender him to the International Criminal Court to face fair trial.
President Omar Al-Bashir, currently in Abuja to attend an African Union health conference, is wanted by the ICC for alleged genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur.
Two warrants, issued in 2009 and 2010, charge him with criminal responsibility on 10 counts, including murder, extermination, forcible transfer of population, torture and rape.
Mr. Femi Falana, counsel for SERAP, sent a letter to Ms. Fatou Bensouda, who serves as chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, at The Hague, in The Netherlands on the matter Monday.
When the UN Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC in 2005, Mr. Falana said in his letter, it urged all states to co-operate fully with the Court, suggesting that Nigeria was breaking an international law, and debunking claims by President Jonathan’s associates and aides that the wanted Sudannes president had cover from arrest on account of an AU resolution. “Mr. Bashir’s official capacity as head of state does not exclude criminal responsibility or get him immunity,” Mr. Falana argued.
“In 2009, the ICC Prosecutor acting pursuant to article 89 of the Rome Statute issued a Decision requesting all states parties to the Rome Statute to cooperate with the court in the Omar Al-Bashir case. Similarly, under article 87, the ICC Prosecutor can refer a state party that refuses to cooperate with a request from the ICC, to the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council referred the matter to the Court as in this case, to the Security Council,” Mr. Falana remarked.
He said further: “The ICC has already exercised this power with respect to Chad and Kenya and we urge you to exercise your authority in this case to refer the Nigerian government to the UN Security Council for failing to arrest President Omar Al-Bashir and surrender him to the ICC.”
Nigeria is a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court having ratified the Statute in September 2001.
SERAP is a Nigerian based human rights non-governmental organization, and whose mandates include the promotion of respect for internationally recognized human rights of Nigerians, through litigation, research and publications, advocacy and monitoring.
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