By Kemi Yesufu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the International Criminal
Court (ICC) to commence the investigation of the tenure of the outgoing
service chiefs over reported atrocities and crimes against humanity
committed by security operatives under their command.
The PDP also called on the INTERPOL and other world bodies to commence
processes that will lead to the prosecution as well as firm sanctions,
including travel ban and freezing of assets belonging to all those
involved in killings and human right abuses by security operatives under
the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The main opposition made the calls in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan, further calling on the
ICC’s Chief Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, to issue official warrant
in line with the court’s earlier declaration that it has enough evidence
to open a full probe on alleged crimes against humanity under the
The statement read in part: “The PDP urges the ICC to probe the cases of extra-judicial execution of innocent Nigerians, massacre of peaceful protesters, illegal arrests and
arbitrary detention of citizens in dehumanizing cells, torture and rape
allegedly committed by the military under the outgoing commanders, as
detailed in the reports of credible international bodies including the
United States Department of State, Amnesty International (AI) and
Transparency International (TI).
“The exiting service chiefs must be made to provide answers for the
reported massacre of unarmed protesters by the military in the northwest
and southeast states between 2015 and 2018, including the 348 civilians
reportedly killed by soldiers in Kaduna state as well as the 347 bodies
found in mass graves in the aftermath of the Zaria massacre.
“The ICC is further called upon to investigate reports of military
invasion and mass shooting in communities in Borno, Yobe, Rivers, Abia,
Anambra among other states where soldiers reportedly killed unarmed
civilians, razed communities, burnt homes, displaced inhabitants, raped
women, detained, beat up and tortured citizens in detention camps
reportedly located in military barracks where deadly fumigation
chemicals were allegedly used in overcrowded cells”.
“Our party further implores the ICC to investigate the reported inhuman
detention of thousands of Nigerian children by military operatives in
the northeast camps particularly between 2017, when more than 1,600
children were reported to have been in illegal detention in cages and
2018, when the UN detailed 418 detained children. This is in addition to
the no fewer than 1000 children reportedly released under negotiation by
the UN in 2016.
“Also our party stands with Nigerians in demanding for a full scale
investigation into the deployment of the military in the EndSARS
protests, resulting in the shooting and killing of unarmed civilians at
Lekki Toll gate in Lagos and other parts of the country”, the statement further read.