The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Monday, reaffirmed the Nigerian government’s commitment to the fight against impunity.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the AGF, Umar Jibrilu, on Tuesday, Mr Malami said the government is ready to ensure justice for victims and punishment of perpetrators of crimes.
Mr Malami spoke on Monday while presenting Nigeria’s statement at the opening of the five-day 18th session of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, the Netherlands.
According to the statement, Mr Malami said Nigeria is also committed to the criminalisation of starvation as a weapon of a war crime under the Rome Statute of the ICC. He said Nigeria called on all State Parties to jointly support the initiative, the statement added.
The AGF also decried the numerous challenges the ICC has been facing, including increasing attacks against the court and its officials, possibilities of further withdrawals from the Rome Statute, weakening of the Rome Statute system and its support across the globe, retreat in multilateral engagement and rising tides of hostility, discrimination, and repression around the world.
“It is the desire of Nigeria to see ICC overcome all its present challenges and become a global, independent and impartial Court with the capability to rid the world of impunity the type that characterised World War One and Two,” the minister said.
Mr Malami said Nigeria is also determined to work together with others to oppose efforts to undermine the work of the Court and its independence and impartiality.
“In particular Nigeria strongly condemns threats made against the ICC in some parts of the world, its officials, and those cooperating with the Court. Nigeria considers such attacks as calculated attempts to undermine and cripple fight against impunity and the laying of a solid foundation for a peaceful and just world, not only for the present generation but also for the unborn generations,” he said.
Mr Malami said Nigeria called on all civilized nations of the world to rise up to this critical challenge “if we must safeguard the present and future generations from extermination.”
The statement added that the minister said Nigeria recognises the Rome Statute system of justice as key in advancing accountability at the international and national level for sexual and gender-based violence and violence against children as grave crimes, including as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
He informed the gathering that the Boko Haram elements have been considerably decimated through the efforts of the Nigerian Security Forces and the support of proximate neighbours and other friendly states. He said “gradually, therefore, normalcy is returning and Nigeria is coming out of the woods and will indeed also come out of the numerous cases initiated against her at the ICC.’
“Nigeria is not a jungle, it is a peace and justice-loving country which is aspiring to develop and create a conducive environment for foreign and other investments, thereby generating jobs and other opportunities for the teeming population, Therefore, impunity is a critical element that could prevent thrifty ideas from fruition does not have a place and will never be tolerated in all facets of our criminal justice system,” he said.