Civil Society Group Wants ICC Intervention in Rivers’ Election Killings

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has urged the International Criminal Court and its prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to carry out a detailed investigation into the politically motivated killings during the 2015 general election in Rivers State.
The International Criminal Court (ICC), governed by the Rome Statute, is am international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
It has its seat at Hague, Netherlands.
In a petition signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the coalition demanded that those found to have had a hand in the excersise should be arrested and made to face the music.
The coalition said it was writing the petition because the Nigerian Government had failed to act in this regard.
It noted that the defection of the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, and several other citizens of Rivers State from the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC), ignited the mass murder.
The petition fingered the former First Lady, Patience Jonathan, as mastermind of some of the killings.
It reads in part: “The wife of former President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, was fingered in misuse of state apparatus and abuse of power during campaigns, resulting in the wanton killings and infliction of grievous bodily harm on several citizens in Rivers State.
“Journalists on professional assignment were not spared in a wanton destruction of properties, disruption of campaigns and attack on human persons.
“The various criminal acts were perpetrated with alleged support of Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of the former president. The said onslaught was allegedly coordinated by AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, (then Commissioner of Police in charge of Rivers State Command) and Deputy Commissioner of Police John Amadi now posted to Nigerian Railways Corporation, Lagos (then the Deputy Commissioner in charge of Operations in Rivers State).
“Besides the aforementioned, several other persons were also alleged to have instigated and induced the politically motivated killings and violence against innocent citizens and known opposition members and in some instances directly procured and financed the execution of the crimes.”
The petitioner listed over 30 people said to have been murdered during the period.
The petition stated further: “Sadly, the Nigerian government has displayed nonchalant commitment to seeking redress for the victims and, punishment for the perpetrators of the crimes. More than 10 months after the election, no individual or group has been reportedly investigated, arrested or prosecuted for these grievous crimes.
“CSNAC is by this petition requesting that your office conducts a thorough investigation into these alleged crimes against humanity as well as prosecute persons found culpable.
The Nigerian Government has consistently failed to carry out its constitutional role in unravelling criminal mysteries and ensuring that criminals are adequately punished.
“Nigeria’s highest court recently affirmed the outcomes of flawed election. Local and international observers of the Rivers elections severally confirmed the unimaginable rate of violence visited on the electorate.
“The Supreme Court’s judgment is tantamount to legitimizing electoral violence, anarchy and abuse of power. Rule of law and justice is sacrosanct to the establishment of a peaceful and sane society. Therefore, allowing these crimes go unpunished will plunge the society into anarchy and doom.
“We urge your office to take appropriate action to forestall an ugly situation. This request is in the line of your promise, via a statement issued days leading to the 2015 election, promising to bring perpetrators of violence or any other act covered in the Rome Statute to justice under the ICC,” the coalition stated.

Author: News Editor

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