The Oasis Reporters
January 30, 2019
Despite mounting criticisms that the International Criminal Court concentrates more attention on the crimes of African leaders and strongmen, the stage is now set for the body under the chief prosecutorial leadership of Gambian born lawyer, Fatou Bom Bensouda to drag Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari to the dock at the expiration of his immunity.
A report says that it has been authoritatively confirmed that criminal charges bordering on Crimes Against Humanity have been filed against President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Hague.
The criminal complaint is backed up with 70 page affidavit and Buhari is expected to be tried for the allegations after the expiration of his tenure.
Prof Goran Sluiter, an International Criminal Law Professor with the University of Amsterdam has disclosed this, adding also that he will be representing clients from Nigeria whose family members were brutally murdered in a Police Station where they sought refuge during the 2011 post election violence believed to have been instigated by Buhari.
President Muhammadu Buhari would not be the first African leader to be so tried. President Uhuru Kenyatta was once indicted by the International Criminal Court over the pre election killings in Kenya. Being a courageous man, he submitted himself to the court for trial before fully commencing his second term of office. He was allowed to go back home.
Not so for former Liberian President, Charles Taylor who was convicted and is currently serving a jail sentence after being captured in Nigeria and sent to the Hague over his role in the Sierra Leonean civil war and the deaths of hundreds of people in the West African sub region.
So has Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d’IVoire who lost a presidential election to Alassane Ouattara but refused to accept defeat, thereby plunging the cocoa exporting West African nation into a civil war. Both he and his wife are serving jail sentences currently.
Would Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari honour the invitation to the Hague ?
Some Nigerians believe that he should, and argue that he is not directly culpable for any violence that engulfed much of Northern Nigeria when he lost the presidential election in 2011.
But healing of the pain felt by the families of those killed in the violence is paramount as well as the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the violence in Northern Nigeria is paramount.