Nigeria Committed to Ideas of ICC – AGF

The Federal government on Thursday, reiterated its support for the International Criminal Court (ICC), stressing that Nigeria inspite of reservation of some African states still believes in the relevance of the court.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), who reiterated the position of the country on Thursday in Abuja, called for caution, adding that African leaders should “not throw away the baby with the bath water”.
Malami assured the new President of the ICC, Prof. Chile Osuji, who was at the headquarters of the ministry as part of his working visit to Nigeria, that the country in further demonstration of this support will persuade African states that have withdrawn their membership of the organisation to have a rethink as the ICC is committed to fighting impunity anywhere in the world.
“At this crucial time that the International Criminal Court is experiencing spate of withdrawals, the recent one being the Philippines, the AGF pledges Nigeria’s unflinching support to Prof Osuji’s presidency”, he said.
“Nigeria will continue to support and cooperate with the court; Nigeria will do all it can through the platforms of the African Union (AU) and the ECOWAS Commission will persuade African states, including the Philippines that have withdrawn or threatening withdrawal of their memberships from the court to have a rethink and look beyond the present shortcomings of the court to the fundamental objectives of its establishment to fight impunity in all its ramifications”, he added.
The Minister, though rejecting the escalation of the eight potential cases by the court against Nigeria, he however assured that Nigeria will continue to uphold the tenets of the Rule of Law, maintain zero tolerance to impunity and will continually respect fundamental freedom.
He assured that any Nigerian found to be in breach of international law would be brought to book, adding that erring military personnel have been court martialed.
He added that his office will continue to work with the National Assembly to ensure speedy passage of the Bill for the domestication of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which is presently awaiting action by the National Assembly.
Earlier the visiting ICC President, Prof. Osuji, told the Minister that he was in the country to appreciate Nigeria for the role she played in his emergence as President of the court.
Osuji, who also appealed to African leaders to have a change of mind on their membership of the court said, the article 27 of the Rome Statute which borders at removal of immunity of heads of States was not targeted at them as the law he said dated as far back as the first world war in 1919.
He stressed that the goal of the ICC is to build a world where peace and justice reign.

Author: News Editor

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