The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a preliminary determination to investigate Nigerian security forces over allegations of “crimes against humanity” and “war crimes”.
The ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, today, Dec 11, released a statement on the conclusion of the preliminary examination of the situation in Nigeria.
The statement begins: “Today, I announce the conclusion of the preliminary examination of the situation in Nigeria.”
This is coming on the heels of allegations of human rights abuses by the country’s security forces in the north-east and other parts of Nigeria.
Fatou Bensouda continued: “As I stated last year at the annual Assembly of States Parties, before I end my term as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (‘ICC’ or the ‘Court’), I intend to reach determinations on all files that have been under preliminary examination under my tenure, as far as I am able.
“In that statement, I also indicated the high likelihood that several preliminary examinations would progress to the investigative stage. Following a thorough process, I can announce today that the statutory criteria for opening an investigation into the situation in Nigeria have been met.”
She added that the ICC “found a reasonable basis to believe that members of the Nigerian Security Forces (‘NSF’) have committed the following acts constituting crimes against humanity and war crimes: murder, rape, torture, and cruel treatment; enforced disappearance; forcible transfer of population; outrages upon personal dignity; intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such and against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities; unlawful imprisonment; conscripting and enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into armed forces and using them to participate actively in hostilities; persecution on gender and political grounds; and other inhumane acts.”
Read the full statement here.
FG declares ‘no-fly zone’ in Zamfara, bans mining activities in the State
The imposition and enforcement of a ban on all mining activities in Zamfara with immediate effect is until further notice.
President Muhammadu Buhari has banned mining activities in Zamfara State, as it declared a ‘no-fly zone’ in the northern state.
This was disclosed by the National Security Adviser (NSO), retired Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno, during the State House briefing at the end of the meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday.
At the meeting, which was presided by President Buhari, he said;
“The President has approved, based on our recommendations, the imposition and enforcement of a ban on all mining activities in Zamfara with immediate effect until further notice.
“He has directed the Minister of Defence and the National Security Adviser to deploy massive military and intelligence assets to restore normalcy to that part of the country.
“He has also approved that Zamfara State should be declared ‘a no fly zone’ with immediate effect.”
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) March 2, 2021
President Buhari said, “I join the affected families and the people of Zamfara State in welcoming and celebrating the release of the abducted students of GGSS Jangebe. This news bring overwhelming joy. I am pleased that their ordeal has come to a happy end without any incident.
I join the affected families and the people of Zamfara State in welcoming and celebrating the release of the abducted students of GGSS Jangebe. This news bring overwhelming joy. I am pleased that their ordeal has come to a happy end without any incident.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) March 2, 2021
“We are working hard to bring an end to these grim and heartbreaking incidents of kidnapping. The Military and the Police will continue to go after kidnappers. They need the support of local communities in terms of human intelligence that can help nip criminal plans in the bud.”
FG will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students – Buhari
The President has warned hostage-taking bandits that his government will not succumb to blackmail.
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.
The President disclosed this in a social media statement on Friday evening, in reaction to the kidnap of students in Zamfara.
“Our primary objective is to get all the school hostages safe, alive and unharmed,” Buhari said.
Our primary objective is to get all the school hostages safe, alive and unharmed.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) February 26, 2021
He added that the FG had the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operated; however, the Army was limited by the possibility of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits.
“A hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors,” he said.
The President said bandits and terrorists should not entertain the illusion that they were more powerful than the government.
“They shouldn’t mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or resolution.
“We will not succumb to blackmail by bandits and criminals who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments,” he added.
What you should know
- It was reported that armed bandits kidnapped 317 female students at the Girls Secondary School, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday.
- The Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Abutu Yaro, said, “We are doing our best along with all sister security agencies, members of the vigilantè group and the state government to get to the bottom of this matter.”
Kidnapped Kagara schoolboys and staff have been released
The abducted students and staff of Government Science Secondary School Kagara, in Niger State, have been released.
The kidnapped school students and staff of Government Science Secondary School Kagara, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, have been released according to sources.
This was disclosed in an exclusive report by Channels TV on Saturday morning.
According to the report, the release of the abductees was confirmed by a government official.
What you should know
- The students were abducted by the bandits dressed in military uniforms on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.
- A total of 27 students, three staff members, and 12 members of their family were abducted after the attack on the Kagara school in the early hours of Wednesday.
- President Muhammadu Buhari said that the Federal Government will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.