The International Criminal Court (ICC), has formally acknowledged receipt of a petition written by Dr Gideon Christian to investigate election and post-election violence in Nigeria as well as alleged incitement to ethnic hate by Mr Bayo Onanuga, the Media Director of the All Progressives Congress campaign and President-elect, Bola Tinubu.
SaharaReporters had reported on Monday that Christian, a Nigerian law Professor had petitioned the ICC over the attacks against some ethnic groups especially Igbos and those that look like them in Lagos in particular and other places during the just concluded presidential and governorship elections in the country.
The petitioner, Christian, had in his petition titled: “Request to Investigate the Election and Post-Election Violence in Nigeria as Well as Incitement to Ethnic Hate by Mr. Bayo Onanuga” invited the Office of the prosecutor to conduct an investigation into series of ethnically motivated violence resulting in injuries and death during the just concluded presidential and governorship elections in Nigeria.
He alleged that Onanuga issued a threat on Twitter warning individuals from the Igbo ethnic group that 2023 should be the last time they would be interfering in Lagos politics.
According to him, promoting attacks against individuals from a particular ethnic group residing in a particular area was a clear violation of international law, adding that the international community must not only take action to prevent such acts from reoccurring but should also hold to account individuals involved in such international wrongdoing.
The petition which was brought Pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute, partly read, “Pursuant to art.15 of the Rome Statute, please accept this communication to the International Criminal Court (the Court) requesting the Office of the Prosecutor to conduct an investigation into series of ethnically motivated violence resulting in injuries and death during the just concluded Presidential and Governorship elections in Nigeria.
“The European Union Election Observer Mission in Nigeria which observed both elections, in their interim report on 20th March 2023 noted multiple incidents of ‘organised violent attacks’ which resulted in ‘many casualties and fatalities."
However, the ICC, has acknowledged the receipt of the Christian's Communication in a letter dated March 27, 2023, with reference number OTP-CR-109/23, and signed by Mark P. Dillon, Head of Information & Evidence Unit, Office of The Prosecutor.
The letter which Christian posted on his Twitter handle on Tuesday morning reads, “The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court acknowledges receipt of your documents/letter.
“This communication has been duly entered in the Communications Register of the Office. We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
“Please note this acknowledgement letter does not mean an investigation has been opened, or that an investigation will be opened by the Office of the Prosecutor. As soon as a decision is reached, we will inform you, in writing, and provide you with reasons for this decision.”