▪️The International Criminal Court has said it has extended its preliminary examinations on possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Nigeria to cover the clashes between Nigerian soldiers and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
▪️The ICCI disclosed this in its 2019 edition of the annual Report of Preliminary Examination Activities issued by the office of its Prosecutor headed by Mrs Fatou Bensouda.
▪️It noted that the Office of the ICC Prosecutor on November 12, 2015 “identified eight potential cases involving the commission of crimes against humanity and war crimes under articles 7 and 8” of the Rome Statutes.
▪️The report, which stated that Nigeria was among the countries under Phase 3 examinations by the Office of the Prosecutor, added that its latest updated “subject-matter assessment” had increased the number of potential cases involving Nigeria from eight to 10.
▪️Of the 10 cases now under the ICC preliminary examination, seven of them were said to be for Boko Haram and three for the Nigerian security forces.
▪️The issues of the security forces’ clashes with Shi’ites’ and IPOB members as well as communal clashes in Benue, Plateau and other North-Central states and in some parts of the North-East were said to have been thrown up in the latest updated assessment by the ICC Prosecutor.
▪️Both the IMN and the IPOB have been proscribed and designated as terrorist organisations by the Federal Government on the account of the groups’ alleged violent activities.
▪️A judicial inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government to investigate the December 2015 clash between the IMN members and soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, concluded that the military killed 347 IMN members in Zaria, Kaduna State, the base of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.
▪️A few IPOB members were also said to have been killed during the September 2017 Operation Python Dance II carried out by the Army to quell the agitation for secession by the South-East group.
▪️Source: Punch News