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Saturday, October 12, 2013

OPINION: Should Nigeria From ICC?

The Nigerian Coalition for International Criminal Court (NCICC) Friday called on the Federal Government not to withdraw its membership of the Court (ICC).
Nigeria and other countries had given an indication that it would use the exit door, following what they described politicisation of the operations of the ICC.
The forthcoming extraordinary summit of the African Union (AU) is believed to have been called to consider calls by some African states for Africa to pull out of ICC.
But according to NCICC, while it is understood that the ICC might have erred in some areas, it remains the only permanent court with the authority to act when a state with jurisdiction is unable or unwilling to investigate or persecute an offender.
The relationship between ICC and some African governments has become increasingly strained as the ICC pushes to try Kenya’s President and Vice President for crimes committed during Kenya’s post election violence in 2007-2008.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, the Chair, Steering Committee of the Coalition, Chino Obiagwu said, “if Nigeria withdraws from ICC, it would send a wrong signal about Africa’s commitment to promoting human rights and fighting impunity.”
He said it would also portend grave consequences for civilians in Africa who tend to bear the brunt of serious crimes committed in violation of international law.
“We recognize that international justice currently operates unevenly across the globe. In some situations, powerful governments are able to shield their citizens and the citizens of their allies from the ICC’s authority by not joining the ICC or using their veto power at the Security Council to block referrals of situations to the court,” he said.
“We will continue to work with the Nigerian Government and other partners to ensure consistency in the application of international justice, including pressing against double standards as the Security Council. But undercutting justice for crimes where it is possible, because justice is not yet possible in all situations, risks emboldening those who might commit grave crimes.
Obiagwu added that, “Working to expand, rather than contract, the membership of the ICC is a key step in widening access to justice and sending the message that no one is above the law.
Source: Daily Post