The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, ICC, has filed a request with the court’ s Pre- Trial Chamber to investigate cases of abduction of schoolchildren in several parts of Northern Nigeria, school closures, and Nigerian authorities’ persistent failure to stop the abductions at both the federal and state levels according to publication on Vanguard News.
The ICC prosecutor’ s judgment came after the Socio- Economic Rights and Accountability Project, or SERAP, filed a petition with the court.
The organization encouraged the ICC prosecutor, Mr Karim A. A. Khan, QC, in a petition dated September 4, 2021, to ” push for individuals suspected of being accountable and involved in the commission of these major crimes to be invited and tried by the ICC. ”
SERAP’ s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, made the announcement on Sunday.
” The severe and lasting injuries that result from depriving children of their right to education satisfy the gravity of harm criterion under the Rome Statute, ” SERAP claimed in the petition.
” The petition’ s preliminary review is considered complete. The next step in the judicial procedure is for the Prosecutor’ s Office to prepare and submit a request to the Pre- Trial Chamber for authorization to launch an investigation into Nigeria under Article 53 of the Rome Statute.
” The request will be made publicly available on the Court’ s website, www. icccpi. int, after it has been submitted.
” Your communication, along with other connected communications and other accessible information, will be given to the appropriate team for analysis in the context of any future investigations. ” We appreciate your interest in the ICC. ”
” By this judgement, the ICC prosecutor has taken a critical step toward exposing and holding accountable those suspected of heinous crimes against Nigerian schoolchildren, ” Oluwadare added.
” Justice must be served to the victims of these acts. ” Impunity for abusers will be shattered by impartial justice and reparation, and Nigerian children’ s access to school will improve. To achieve these critical goals, SERAP will collaborate closely with the ICC.
” Senior government authorities know well or ought to know that their failure to prevent these crimes will violate the children’ s human rights and dignity, ” SERAP said to the ICC prosecutor.
” The lack of any tangible and relevant inquiry or prosecution in Nigeria implies that the authorities are unwilling or unable to conduct a genuine investigation or prosecution of individuals accused of being responsible for and participating in student abduction. ”
” The consequences of frequent student abductions, school closures, and failure to provide secure and enabling learning environments, despite federal and state authorities spending about N241. 2 billion in public funds as ” security votes” each year, are identical to those of the offences in article 7. ” (1).