Some international civil society organisations have cautioned the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensou over misguided utterances against the Nigerian military and sister agencies .
The International Human Rights Protection Forum (IHRPF) gave this warning in a letter to the Office of the Chief Prosecutor on Tuesday.
In the letter signed by its Director of Communication, Zakari Yinusa, the IHRPF said the ICC pre-convicted the military, adding that it was faulty and not in tandem with any known criminal court.
The group also expressed frustration over reports that the ICC has been compromised by Amnesty International who it claims is “pumping millions of dollars into the Chief Prosecutor’s office to ensure that the military is demoralized to the extent of losing focus on the final defeat of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist groups”.
The CSO, though, assured that the Armed Force under the current dispensation over the years adhered strictly to the extant laws, rules of engagement and international best practices.
“As far as we are concerned, the position you have taken is a subtle way of casting aspersions on the military while at the same time strengthening the terrorists and their sympathizers to keep unleashing mayhem on innocent citizens,” the letter stated in part.
The group, however, advised the ICC Chief Prosecutor to retrace her steps and stop being used against Nigeria.
It added that “we shall prevail on the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami SAN through civil actions to cease further cooperation with the International Criminal Court in terms of exchange of classified national security information or legal documents”.
Read full letter below:
As a strategic partner with the International Criminal Court (ICC), our International Human Rights Protection Forum (IHRPF) has always advocated that perpetrators of terrible crimes against the human race must be held to account. To this end, we closely monitored the recent #EndSARS Protests in Nigeria and forwarded not less than three different Criminal Complaints to your office against various individuals, groups and institutions found complicit in escalating the crises which almost ruined our dear country. We are aware that other human right organizations equally wrote and supplied avalanche of incriminating pieces of evidence against some non-state actors for fueling the ill-fated #EndSARS Protests.
Our expectation is that as the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, you would within this period that Nigeria is struggling to recover from the severe pains inflicted on her citizens and economy, concentrate on adequately considering the multiple Criminal Complaints piling on your table with a view to bringing the identified culprits to book. Regrettably, you seem to have abandoned the noble purpose for which the ICC was established and allowed yourself to be used by Amnesty International to complicate the precarious security situation in Nigeria. We submit that by all standards, the hasty manner in which the Nigerian Security Forces were pre-convicted through your media pronouncement on Friday, 11th December, 2020 is faulty and not in tandem with any known International Criminal Law, Instrument or Protocol.
We are surprised that it took you over a decade to analyze the bunch of lies sold to ICC by Amnesty International before coming to the so called conclusion that there is reasonable basis to believe that “members of the Nigerian Security Forces (NSF) have committed acts constituting crimes against humanity and war crimes”. Experience should have taught you that Amnesty International had been working desperately with other foreign enemies to give the Nigerian Security Forces a bad name in order to hang them. A situation whereby you allow leaders of Boko Haram as well as notorious criminals like Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who continually rebel constituted authorities in Nigeria to move freely across the world but rather choose to declare cold legal war against the Nigerian Security Forces is rather unfortunate, wicked and suspicious. It goes to buttress the assertion in various quarters that Amnesty International has been pumping millions of dollars into your office to ensure that the military is demoralized to the extent of losing focus on the final defeat of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist groups.
Our investigations also reveal that Nigerian Armed Forces under the current dispensation in carrying out counter terrorism operations within the North East and other parts of the country have over the years ensured that their troops do everything possible to adhere strictly to the extant laws, rules of engagement and international best practices. On no account shall we allow the ICC to dampen the morale of military troops who have been fighting tirelessly to keep Nigeria and her people safe. As far as we are concerned, the position you have taken is a subtle way of casting aspersions on the military while at the same time strengthening the terrorists and their sympathizers to keep unleashing mayhem on innocent citizens. This we condemn in its entirety and call on other sister organizations to join in the struggle to save Nigeria from another foreign oppression.
Until you retrace your steps from being used against Nigeria, we shall prevail on the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami SAN through civil actions to cease further cooperation with the International Criminal Court in terms of exchange of classified national security information or legal documents. We will equally prevail on the Federal Republic of Nigeria to opt-out of being a signatory to the Rome Statute and adopt a new policy of protecting her military personnel, officials, and nationals from your illegitimate use of the powers inherent in the ICC. After all, the core issues of when Nigeria can lawfully resort to armed force, how that force may be applied, and whether particular actions constitute serious international offences of war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide are duly covered by local laws.
In particular, Section 217 (1) and (2) (a) – (d) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) no doubt clothes the Armed Forces with the authority to take charge of defending Nigeria from external aggression, maintaining its territorial integrity and securing its borders from violation on land, sea or air. The Armed Forces are also empowered to suppress insurrection and act in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President, but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly. Section 3 of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 fortifies the powers of the Armed Forces when it provides that they shall be charged with the defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by land, sea and air and with such other duties as the National Assembly may from time to time prescribe or direct by an Act.
On the whole, we urge you to always maintain neutrality in handling affairs of State parties. The need for the ICC to remain accountable to the United Nations Security Council in line with Chapter 5, Article 24 (1) of the UN Charter for purposes of maintaining international peace and security cannot be overemphasized. Massive atrocities have been committed by terrorists in Nigeria under your nose yet you kept mute, only to regain your voice where the military is mentioned. It is, therefore, our prayer that you take urgent steps to correct the erroneous impression which your publication has made concerning the hitherto highly esteemed reputation of the ICC. The best thing we envisage from your office in the coming days is to prove to the world that ICC is indeed not being subjected to undue pressure from Western Nations hiding under the cover of Amnesty International to bankroll the hatchet job of throwing Nigeria into complete anarchy through the promotion of terrorist activities.
We do hope that you will be properly guided!
Insecurity: Group Demands Collective Action By Governors
The Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ) has charged state governors to rise to the occasion as chief security officers of their states and stop playing politics with human lives.
The coalition, which made the call at a press conference, on Monday, in Abuja, also noted that collective action is required to end the tide of insecurity across the nation.
In his address, the head of the secretariat, Comrade Ohene Dominic, said the lackadaisical attitude of some governors has escalated criminal activities in the country, adversely causing untold hardship on the people.
Dominic said their failure to commit resources to security has made schools and other places of importance more susceptible to attacks by unscrupulous criminal elements.
According to him, these governors should be treated as saboteurs whose interests is on how they can amass wealth by dipping their hands in state coffers to sustain their lavish lifestyles.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice therefore called on all well-meaning Nigerians to henceforth begin to demand accountability from the various state governors.
On their part, the coalition, however, urged the governors to wake up from their slumber and do the needful as this is not the time for playing to the gallery.
Read the full statement below:
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to this press conference standing on the existing protocol.
The peculiarities of time occasioned by the unwholesome activities of criminal elements across that country have once again brought out the national question on how state governors have abdicated their responsibilities as Chief Security Officers of their states.
It is indeed worrisome that this trend has continued unabated and largely responsible for the escalation of the activities of criminal elements across the country which has indeed caused untold hardship on the people.
The various cases of kidnappings and armed banditry in some states are consequences of the lackadaisical attitude of some governors that have been engaged with playing politics to the detriment of human lives.
It is unacceptable for this trend to continue because of the larger consequences which if not abated could spiral out of control and Nigeria might be engulfed with acts of criminalities, so much so that might lead the country on the path of regression.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice as a critical stakeholder in the country is aware that some governors have deliberately allowed criminal elements to have a field day in their states because of what they aim to achieve politically. Consequently, we must ask questions hence this press conference to put issues in proper perspective before the generality of Nigeria towards making the country safe for all concerned.
It is our considered view that if the various state governors had been alive to their responsibilities, the embarrassing incidences of kidnappings of school students in public schools would not have been possible.
It is indeed shameful that some state governors would commit huge resources to pursue endeavours that do not have a direct impact on the lives of the citizens while ignoring the need to provide adequate security for schools and other places of importance that are susceptible to attacks by unscrupulous criminal elements.
It is gladding that this much was highlighted by a fellow governor wherein he stated that governors have failed in providing security in their states in their capacity as Chief Security Officers. It remains despicable that the song on the lips of most governors is that they are not in charge of the security of their states; we beg to ask what they have been doing with the security votes that are accruing to states monthly. How have these monies meant for security spent by the various state governors?
If the governors also claim not to have the required funds to provide security in their states, we also beg to ask where they get the funds with which they pursue their political agenda during times of elections.
It remains a sad tale that this anomaly has thrived over the years and the various state governors have been playing politics with human lives and they seem to have no grouse with how innocent school children are abducted from their dormitories. They also have no grouse with how under their nose, militant groups are grouping and entrenching acts of violence that have led to scores of death and destruction of properties.
It is thus our stand that the various state governors can be regarded as saboteurs whose interests lie in how they can amass wealth by dipping their hands in state coffers to sustain their lavish lifestyles.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this medium to call on all well-meaning Nigerians to henceforth begin to demand accountability from the various state governors with how they have been utilizing the security votes that run into billions of naira monthly.
It is also our stance that the federal government must begin the process of holding state governors accountable for avoidable security breaches in their states and taking steps to ensure that monies meant for security are not diverted to private pockets.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this medium to appeal to the federal government to withhold allocations to states whose governors have been found wanting in the discharge of their responsibilities as Chief Security Officers of their states.
This is our opinion would make the governors wake up to their responsibilities and ensuring that they live up to expectations in this critical task at hand because if funds are continually made available to these non-performing governors, it would be tantamount to economic waste.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is of the considered opinion that Nigerians must begin the process of tasking the various state governors on accountability and commitment to entrenching good governance for the task at hand requires all hands to be on deck.
The state governors must also wake up from their slumber and do the needful as this is not the time for playing to the gallery. Nigerian Governors must wake- up to their responsibilities and stop playing politics
Thank you for your attention in this regard and we expect to see results in the coming days, weeks, and months in Nigeria.
God bless Nigeria.
RCCG Prayer Walk: Province 11 Pastor Prays For An End To COVID-19
Pastor Tunde Benjamislani , The Pastor RCCG Throne Room Parish Transcorp Hilton Abuja Parish , prayed for a permanent end to covid-19.
The Pastor stated this in Abuja while leading the global maiden prayer walk of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
The Pastor stated that the Prayer walk was a global one going on co-currently in all the 119 nations of the world .
He also stated the prayer walk was an instruction received by the general overseer Pastor E.A Adeboye
Ethnoreligious Killings: Group Accuses Amnesty International Of Double Standards In Promoting Violence Across Nigeria
The Centre for African Liberation And Socio-Economic Rights (CALSER) has accused Amnesty International of double standards, taking sides with a particular ethnic group and heating the insecurity crisis in the country.
The centre noted that Amnesty International’s position affirms that the group is out on a mission to see to the disintegration of Nigeria at all cost.
According to CALSER, Amnesty which parades itself as an apostle of human rights is ironically acting as proxies for terrorists with its misleading reports on Nigeria.
The centre made these known at a press conference on Friday in Abuja through Executive Director, Atumeyi Michael.
CALSER, therefore, urged Nigerians to be wary of the activities of Amnesty International and other organizations parading themselves under various international and human rights nomenclatures as they do not mean well for the country.
The centre noted that their desire remains to fester ethnoreligious conflicts in the country that would lead to disintegration.
The Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights, however, urged all Nigerians to “embrace our differences and work for the common good which is the entrenchment of peace and stability in Nigeria”
The centre assured that Nigeria shall defeat its adversaries within the shortest possible time with the collective efforts of all and sundry.
Read the full statement below:
We welcome you all to this press conference on the heels of the recent happenings in parts of the country that has pitched religious and ethnic groups against each other which indeed calls for great concern from well-meaning Nigerians.
The Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights condemns situations where religious and ethnic tension is promoted by a section of the populace without having recourse to the implication of their actions and inactions on National Security.
The killings and reprisals on religious and ethnic groups indeed portend danger for the continued existence of Nigeria, especially on the heels that the religious and ethnic champions behind the agitations are doing it for their selfish purpose which by and large is geared towards political gains.
It is indeed a sad situation that can be made worse with the likes of Amnesty International through their unsubstantiated reports that are aimed towards pressuring members of religious and ethnic groups to see themselves as victims and take the laws into their hands.
It remains a statement of the fact that the activities of Amnesty International in Nigeria have remained suspect through its entrenched methodology of undertaking actions that are capable of causing unrest in the country.
Its public statements are always laced with illogical conclusions and outright falsehoods that oftentimes are meant to either question the commitment of the Nigerian government in addressing the security challenges in the country or acting as the intellectual arm and mouthpiece for terrorists and militant groups in the country.
It is therefore instructive to state that Nigerians must realize that solving the security challenges in the country is not a function of attacking members of other ethnicity or religious groups as this would further heat an already tensed polity.
We must also realize that ethnic and religious profiling also does us no good as a country, but rather, it comes with its attendant consequences that are capable of setting the country on fire.
The Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights is using the occasion of this press conference to condemn in totality the ethnoreligious attacks on members of other ethnic groups in the country, as it wholly smacks of a despicable attempt to provoke retaliations the country.
The Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights also frowns at organizations such as Amnesty International whose stock in trade in recent times is to fan the embers of war in Nigeria by taking sides and promoting acts of violence amongst ethnic and religious groups which smacks of a mockery of all that they claim to represent with regards to human rights.
The likes of Amnesty International in our considered opinion are against the peace and unity of Nigeria as a country and as such their actions and inactions have been tailored along with the narrative that dots their reports, statements, and communique.
These organizations parading themselves as apostles of human rights are indeed ironically acting as proxies for terrorist networks across the world in their despicable quest to truncate our nascent democracy in Nigeria.
The recent ethnoreligious clashes and the consequent position taken by the likes of Amnesty International indeed buttresses the fact that Amnesty International is out on a mission to see to the disintegration of Nigeria at all cost.
Nigerians must consequently be wary of the activities of Amnesty International and other organizations parading themselves under various international and human rights nomenclatures as these organizations do not mean well for the country. Their overarching desire has remained to fester ethnoreligious conflicts in Nigeria that would lead to the disintegration of the country.
The Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights states in unequivocal terms that Nigerians must not play into the trap of these organizations by entrenching the culture of promoting violence against members of other ethnic or religious groups as the solution lies in our unity of purpose and diversity.
We must learn to call a spade a spade and condemn what is wrong and commend what is right as this is not the time for hasty generalization of one ethnicity as been responsible for increased crime and criminality across the country. It, therefore, remains a misplaced judgment for any Nigerian to assume that attacking members of other ethnic or religious groups is the solution to the security challenges in the country.
The Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights is urging all Nigerians to embrace our differences and work for the common good which is the entrenchment of peace and stability in Nigeria.
It remains our firm conviction that Nigeria shall defeat its adversaries within the shortest possible time with the collective efforts of all and sundry. We must remember and hold unto those things that unite us, rather than those things that divide us.
Thank you all for your time and attention and we hope this message gets to all the nook and crannies of Nigeria in the quest for the sustenance of peace and stability in Nigeria.
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