ICC Begins Examination Of Nigeria’s Effort In Tackling Boko Haram

Channels Television  
Updated February 24, 2014

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has commenced preliminary examination to ascertain the efforts of the Nigerian government in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east.

Addressing State House correspondents at a security seminar in Abuja on Monday, the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, said the organisation had been observing various areas, but stressed that recent Boko Haram incidents were a concern for the court.

“The ICC is yet to reach a stage it will consider an investigation and prosecution of the culprits in the crisis,” Mrs Bensouda said.

“The ICC does not replace national jurisdictions. It only complements national jurisdictions, which means the primary responsibility of investigating and prosecuting crimes that fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC remains with the state.

“It is only when they do not do it, either that they are unable or that they are unwilling, that the ICC, that is my office, sets in to investigate and prosecute. Currently, Nigeria is under preliminary examination, which means that we are checking issues of whether the crimes fall under our jurisdiction and also whether Nigeria is genuinely investigating and prosecuting. It is only when they do not do that the ICC will go to the next step, which is asking to open investigations into the situation” she said.

The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan had directed the Service Chiefs to ensure that relevant human rights were emphasised in the training of members of the armed forces in the fight against insurgency.

Mr Bensouda commended the government on the initiative that had been taken to teach and train the forces to respect international humanitarian law.

“ICC’s jurisdiction, as I said, is exception. It is not a court of first instance but a court of last resort and for the national jurisdiction to try to ensure that those who are enforcing the law are respecting the law is a way of preventing, as they will not commit these atrocities if they know the confines of the law,” she stressed.

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for several killings and bombings in the region that started in 2009.

The government had deployed military personnel to the region but the governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, said that the military efforts were not enough to quell the insurgency.

A security consultant, Capt. Umar Aliyu (Rtd), has said that the government lacks the political will to fight the Boko Haram.

“The military has the capacity to tackle the insurgents but someone is showing lack of will to give them the matching order to end the insurgency,” he said.