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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Mama Peace In Trouble As International Criminal Court Set to Prosecute any Nigerian Politician Inciting Followers to Violence

International Criminal Court (ICC) has restated its resolve to prosecute any Nigerian politician who engages in or incites his/her followers to violence.

ICC’s Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, in a statement yesterday, warned that politicians risk being prosecuted either by the court or the Nigerian courts, should they persist in the campaign pattern dominated by hate speech and violence-inducing languages.

The warning by the ICC came barely a week after the Presidential Campaign Organisation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said it will report President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience, to the court for making inciting statements.
The ICC had issued a similar statement in February, in which it urged the nation’s major political actors to strive to prevent violence among their supporters.

“Following my statement of the February 2, 2015, and my Office’s subsequent visit to Nigeria from the February 3 to 5, I reiterate my previous message.
“At a time when abhorrent levels of violence already plague parts of the country, I recall that the ICC has jurisdiction over Rome Statute crimes committed on the territory of Nigeria.
“Any person who incites or engages in acts of violence in the context of the upcoming elections or otherwise – including by ordering, inciting, encouraging or contributing to the commission of crimes that fall within ICC’s jurisdiction – is liable to prosecution; either by Nigerian courts or by the ICC.“No one should doubt my office’s resolve to prosecute individuals responsible for the commission of ICC crimes, whenever necessary.“Violence is not a solution. The conduct and outcome of elections in Nigeria, free from violence, will not only prevent further instability in the country, but will also send a clear message that electoral competition does not have to result in violence and crimes that shock the conscience of humanity,” ICC said.The Office of the ICC’s Prosecutor has the powers to conduct independent and impartial investigations and prosecution of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.It is conducting preliminary examinations relating to such situations in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Iraq, Ukraine and Palestine.

Source: TheNation

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