The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to commence the investigation of the tenure of the outgoing service chiefs over reported atrocities and crimes against humanity committed by security operatives under their command.
The PDP also called on the INTERPOL and other world bodies to commence processes that will lead to the prosecution as well as firm sanctions, including a travel ban and freezing of assets belonging to all those involved in killings and human rights abuses by security operatives under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
With the exit of the service chiefs from office, the PDP charged ICC’s Chief Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, to issue an official warrant.
The PDP urged the ICC to probe the cases of extra-judicial execution of innocent Nigerians, the massacre of peaceful protesters, illegal arrests and arbitrary detention of citizens in dehumanizing cells, torture and rape allegedly committed by the military under the outgoing commanders, as detailed in the reports of credible international bodies including the United States Department of State, Amnesty International (AI) and Transparency International (TI).
“The exiting service chiefs must be made to provide answers for the reported massacre of unarmed protesters by the military in the northwest and southeast states between 2015 and 2018, including the 348 civilians reportedly killed by soldiers in Kaduna state as well as the 347 bodies found in mass graves in the aftermath of the Zaria massacre.
“The ICC is further called upon to investigate reports of military invasion and mass shooting in communities in Borno, Yobe, Rivers, Abia, Anambra among other states where soldiers reportedly killed unarmed civilians, razed communities, burnt homes, displaced inhabitants, raped women, detained, beat up and tortured citizens in detention camps reportedly located in military barracks where deadly fumigation chemicals were allegedly used in overcrowded cells.
“Our party further implores the ICC to investigate the reported inhuman detention of thousands of Nigerian children by military operatives in the northeast camps particularly between 2017, when more than 1,600 children were reported to have been in illegal detention in cages, and in 2018 when the UN detailed 418 detained children. This is in addition to the no fewer than 1000 children reportedly released under negotiation by the UN in 2016,” PDP stated in a communique on Thursday.
The party said it stands with Nigerians in demanding a full-scale investigation into the deployment of the military in the EndSARS protests, resulting in the shooting and killing of unarmed civilians at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos and other parts of the country.
While the PDP expressed unwavering confidence in the military, the party insisted on the investigation of the atrocities of the few bad elements within the nation’s security architecture to serve as a deterrent.
The party urged all well-meaning Nigerians to join in demanding that the ICC immediately commences the investigation of the tenure of the outgoing service chiefs for crimes against humanity in the country.