Nigeria’s main opposition party, All Progressives Congress, APC, has demanded the immediate trial, by the International Criminal Court, of two former Nigerian officials named by a government-appointed negotiator as the sponsors of the extremist Boko Haram sect.
At a press conference Tuesday, the APC called on President Goodluck Jonathan to hand over former governor of Borno state, Ali Modu Sheriff, and former Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, to the International Criminal Court, ICC, to face trial over their alleged sponsorship of the group.
The National Chairman of APC, John Oyegun, who spoke at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja, said his party expects the president to “summon courage” and “do the right thing”.
“Now that the cat has been let out of the bag and the real sponsors of Boko Haram have been exposed, we hope President Jonathan will summon the courage to do the right thing: Hand over the identified Boko Haram sponsors to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation and prosecution,” Mr. Oyegun said.
“There is no doubt that Boko Haram has committed crimes against humanity in its scorched-earth campaign against unharmed citizens, and the most appropriate body to investigate and try the sect’s sponsors is the ICC.
“According to Article 17 of the Rome Statute that set up the ICC, and to which Nigeria is signatory, the ICC is a court of last resort, expected to exercise its jurisdiction only if states themselves are unwilling or unable genuinely to investigate and prosecute international crimes,” Mr. Oyegun said.
An Australian negotiator, Stephen Davis, appointed by the Nigerian government to help rescue more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram, has accused the former army chief and former governor as the major sponsors of the deadly sect.
Messrs Sheriff and Ihejirika have denied the allegation.