Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke has reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the operations of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
He stated this at the 5th Diaspora Scholars’ Lecture of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), in Abuja. Mr. Adoke, who was represented at the occasion by Prof. Deji Adekunle, said: “Recent events are indicative that African states and governments no longer support the concept of an International Criminal Court. I am of the opinion, however, that there is no basis for such a view. Permit me to observe Nigeria’s commitment to the fight against impunity and war crimes remains very strong”.
He added that “The administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has always cooperated with and supported the international criminal court. Of note in this regard is the cooperation with the office of the prosecutor of the court, which in 2010 commenced preliminary examination of the details for the purpose of assessing whether any case existed for the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction in Nigeria in respect of the violent activities of the Boko Haram sect.
The AGF who was the Chief Host at the event, explained further that, “In its report issued in August last year, the office of the prosecutor found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that since 2009, the terrorist group Boko Haram has committed crimes against humanity, in particular the crimes of murder and persecution on religious grounds”.
In her presentation, the lecturer, Prof. Ngozichukwuka Ugo lamented the high level of impunity on the African continent.
Prof. Ugo noted that African continent remained a continent of paradox, with conflicting economic and factual realities. “The continent transited from the horrible era of colonial rule to independence, but Africa is currently bedeviled with the menace of exploitation by fellow Africans”.
She explained that this ugly development has necessitated the putting in place of international criminal law to rescue the situation.
“The road road this continent is taking as regards impunity leads to no meaningful destination”, Prof. Ugo advised.