ICC vows to prosecute Nigerians behind electoral violence

International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court, ICC, has warned that it would not take lightly the outbreak of violence during the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria, and has vowed to prosecute persons or groups caught inciting or perpetrating act of violence in the run-up and after the election.

The prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, in a statement, expressed concern over the escalating violence and threat of violence in the run-up to election. She warned that by the Rome Statute, of which Nigeria is a signatory, it has jurisdiction over crimes committed in Nigeria or Nigerians from July 1, 2002 onwards.

“Any person who incites or engages in acts of violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing in any other manner to the commission of crimes within ICC’s jurisdiction is liable to prosecution either by Nigerian Courts or by ICC. No one should doubt my resolve, whenever necessary, to prosecute individuals responsible for the commission of ICC crimes,” said Mrs Bensouda.

Several observers have suggested that the February elections would be marred by violence. Already there have been reported cases of violent acts.

The convoy of President Goodluck Jonathan was stoned by some irate youth in some northern states last week. Some supporters of the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC, were shot in Port Harcourt and cases of bombing targeted at the APC in the state are increasing.

Some Niger Delta militants, who are close allies of Mr. Jonathan, have also threatened to wage a war upon the rest of the country if the he’s not re-elected.

The ICC said because elections are sometimes volatile and could by the catalyst of widespread violence, measures should be taken to prevent out breaks of violent acts.

“Experience has shown that electoral competition, when gone astray, can give rise to violence and in the worst case scenarios, even trigger the commission of mass crimes that ‘shock the conscience of humanity.’”

It called on presidential candidates and political leaders in the country to consolidate the peace pact they signed to committing themselves, their parties and supporters to refrain from violent acts during the election.

In December 2014, Mr. Jonathan, the APC candidate, Mr. Buhari and 12 other presidential candidates signed a peace pact facilitated by former Secretary general of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku, and former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, committing to a violence-free election.


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  • shamsudeen sadiq

    Buhari take note and keep your urchins on cnain

    • Gbofia Lunar

      Which party has more thugs, fugitives and ex convicts more prone to violence…?

      A) PDP
      B) APC
      C) TAN

      “Answer honestly, with the fear of God!”

      • Kitunde

        All of the above!!

      • shamsudeen sadiq

        APC

    • ahmadu

      A misdirected holiness, pls tell your brother Tampolo and Doggy Dokubo about this gist!

  • Bayo Ola

    Attention Premium Times: editorial correction to certain (perhaps unintended) errors is suggested: ICC prosecutor is a woman and not a man. She is Mrs. Fatou Bensouda. Also, the image in the picture you used as a caption is not that of the ICC, but a conference center in downtown area, The Hague. ICC building is a 17 storey building located in Maanweg 174. Contact ICC at 31-705158515 for more specifics if you are unsure.Let me hasten to add that this suggested correction does not diminish the proactive position of the prosecutor, or foresightedness of your reporters. Unfortunately this African woman from the Gambia must prosecute many of these myopic African leaders of unsound mind who are unable to manage complex issues, like elections and transition from one government to the other. While the Court might have focused its searchlights disproportionately on African leaders, majority of African leaders (especially sub-Sahara Africa) are blights to civilization, making it difficult to question ICC position. Many African leaders are candidates for zoo and not for government houses in any decent society. Nigeria in particular is a let-down to Africa. Here is a country that ought to be a pacesetter to every Black African, dancing naked to the amusement and amazement of the civilised world. I will not be surprised if
    Mr. Jonathan, Asari Dokubo, Tompolo et al are indicted by the prosecutor in the next few months. Sadly, this is the only language these buffoons understand. Africa is indeed a tragic continent; a continent that celebrates its villains and persecutes its Saints