President Goodluck Jonathan has said Nigeria will support the International Criminal Court (ICC) in its efforts to check impunity.
The president was speaking to the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, during a courtesy call at State House, Tuesday.
The President said, “Nigeria does not encourage impunity, and will cooperate with the ICC to check it.”
President Jonathan said, ‘we are open to you and have nothing to hide’, adding that he had directed the Attorney-General and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to ‘ensure that the ICC Chief Prosecutor receives all the support and cooperation required to make her visit to Nigeria a fruitful one’.
He drew Mrs Bensouda’s attention to the ICC’s involvement in five situations in Africa, with the attendant criticism from the continent, and called on the Chief Prosecutor to use her experience in the Court to resolve potential areas of conflict or disagreement.
The President said while the African Union’s Constitutive Instruments do not condone impunity, greater engagement by the ICC with the AU should create the enabling environment for cooperation towards the realization of the Court’s laudable objectives.
Earlier, the ICC Chief Prosecutor, Mrs Bensouda, told President Jonathan she was in Nigeria on the invitation of the Government to discuss cooperation and the Court’s work in the country over the past five years.
Mrs Bensouda said Nigeria was not under any investigation, as the Government had responsibility for investigating and prosecuting any crimes in the country, and expressed appreciation that this was already being done.
The ICC Chief Prosecutor said the Court was not targeting Africa, but all cases in the continent, apart from Kenya, were originated by Africans, adding that this was good for the victims of such crimes.