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Retired Army Chief, Buratai Allegedly Executed Six Igbo Soldiers Secretly — Coalition

Former Chief of Army Staff

By Godsgift Onyedinefu

Twenty five human rights group under the aegis of Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition have alleged that the just retired Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai orderd the secret execution of six Igbo Christian soldiers attached to the Armory Department of the Nigerian Army, Abacha Barracks in Abuja.

According to the coalition, the information  was disclosed  by one Barr E.R. Okoroafor, an int’l human rights lawyer, who  they said, is very conversant with the matter and was also contacted by one of the slain soldiers through his family to defend them in the trumped up charges.

The Coalition said the slain soldiers are The slain Igbo Christian soldiers; namely: Prince Ukwuoma, son of a traditional ruler; Ebube Isaiah, Amos Azubuike, Ekene Ebere, Moses Anyim and Godwin Uchendu.

The Coalition in a statement on Tuesday quoted the int’l rights lawyer, as saying “sometime in Sept 2020, an allegation of missing weapons was made at Abacha Barracks and it was immediately traced to a senior Colonel of Fulani-Hausa Muslim origin and instead of the COAS to issue query and sanction the Colonel, he exonerated him on the grounds of his tribe and religion. The COAS turned around and ordered for the arrest of 12 soldiers guarding the armory, comprising six Igbo soldiers, three Yoruba soldiers and three Fulani-Hausa Muslim soldiers. In the end, the latter soldiers were shielded and exonerated under questionable circumstances and the six Igbo soldiers made to face secret court martial during which they were blocked and prevented from having access to their families and defense lawyers of their choice”.

The statement added, “Barr E.R. Okoroafor also told the Coalition that his attempts to stand in for the Igbo soldiers were stiffly opposed and he was flimsily told by the Army’s Legal Department that civilian lawyers are not allowed to defend the accused soldiers except military lawyers”.

“Their trial was totally shrouded in secrecy and never disclosed to the public through Army statements till date; likewise their constitutional right of appeal to Court of Appeal and Supreme Court which was also totally denied”

The Coalition further alleged that the six Igbo soldiers were framed or singled out for persecution on the grounds of their ethnicity and religion  adding that dozens og Igbo soldiers have in recent times particularly since 2017/8 died under similar circumstances

The Coalition therefore said it wants Buratai to face prosecution and life jail at ICC or in national courts in any foreign country operating int’l criminal jurisdictions on crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“We also call for a harvest of civil suits  against the perpetrators by human rights lawyers and victims of the horrendous crimes under reference

“Members of the international community especially the western democracies and the UN as well as international human rights organizations and institutions are particularly called upon to take diplomatic and advocacy notice of the named perpetrators and their atrocity crimes. This is for purpose of holding them judicially accountable and ensuring that they end up being int’l pariahs”, the statement read.

The statement was signed by

Emeka Umeagbalasi (M.Sc.), Board Chair, Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law

·         Prof Anthony Ejiofor-Chairman, World Igbo Congress (USA)

·         Prof Uzodimma Nwala-President, Ala-Igbo Dev Foundation (ADF)

·         Prof Justice Chidi-President, Concerned Elites for Better Society Initiative

·         Prof Justin Akujieze-President, Ekwenche Research Institute (USA)

·         Dr. Moses Nwaigwe-President, Biafra Genocide Survivors Group (USA)

·         Austin Okeke, Esq.-Global Leader, Igbo Board of Deputies (UK)

·         Kanayo K. Odeluga, MD., MPH-Executive Director, Igbo League, Inc.(USA)

·         Mercy Alu, MBA, PhD-Executive Coordinator, the Int’l Association of African Authors & Scholars (USA)

·         Dr. Onyenkachi Orjiako, Esq.-Rep, Int’l  Society for War Against Lawlessness (USA)

·         Dr. Okezie Kelechi-ED, Neighborhood Environment Watch Foundation

·         Dr. Jerry Chidozie Chukwuokoro-Rep, Int’l Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative

·         Comrades Chilos Godsent & Zulu Ofoelue-Reps, Igbo National Council

·         Ezekwike Chekwube Violet, Esq.-Founder, New Home Mentoring & Dev Initiative

·         Comrade Aloysius Attah-Chair, Civil Liberties Organization, Southeast

·         Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, President, Igbo Ekunie Initiative

·         Comrade Justine Ijeoma-ED, Human Rights Social Dev & Environmental Foundation

·         Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme-Chair, Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State

·         Comrade Peter Onyegiri-ED, Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy

·         Comrade Alex Olisa-Rep, Southeast Good Governance Forum

·         Comrade Nnana Nelson Nwafor-ED, Foundation for Environment Rights Advocacy & Dev.

·         Comrade Nkwocha Anozie-ED, Initiative for Ideal Dev & Emancipatory Leadership

·         Comrade Emeku Uche-Rep, Easy-life Initiative for Rural Youths

·         Comrade Samuel Njoku-Chair, Human Rights Organization of Nigeria

·         Comrade Ngwobia O. Ngwobia-Rep Primate Salvation Initiative

Below are photos of four of the allegedly slain soldiers


Eastern Nigeria’s Rights & Intelligentsia Coalition Launches Int’l Justice Campaigns Against Buratai & Ors

…seeks their declaration as persona non-gratae anywhere in the world and life jail for atrocities against unarmed Igbos & Others

Int’l Joint Statement

Nigeria, 2nd Feb 2021

Executive Summary

We, the undersigned human rights and intelligentsia coalition of old Eastern Nigeria origin, working toward redressing abuses and violations of human rights of grievous nature as defined by int’l instruments have today resolved to launch local and int’l justice campaigns against the immediate past Nigerian Army Chief, Retired Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai and over 20 others concerning their atrocious rights abuses while in office. The referenced int’l justice campaigns specifically border on justice for the victims of the horrendous rights abuses and violations and the severe punishment of their perpetrators. The chief perpetrator in this regard is immediate past Army Chief, Retired Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai. Others in the list are senior serving and retired military and police chiefs, as well as the Govs of Anambra and Abia States; all numbering over 20.

Secret Execution Of Six Igbo Christian Soldiers At Abacha Barracks

We have received with rude shock and deepest dismay the Monday, 25th Jan 2021 secret execution of six Igbo Christian soldiers, attached to the Armory Department of the Nigerian Army, Abacha Barracks in Abuja. The slain Igbo Christian soldiers; namely: Prince Ukwuoma, son of a traditional ruler; Ebube Isaiah, Amos Azubuike, Ekene Ebere, Moses Anyim and Godwin Uchendu were secretly executed under the instruction of now Retired Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, a day before he left office on Tuesday, 26th Jan 2021. This shocking news was disclosed to us by Barr E.R. Okoroafor, an int’l human rights lawyer, who is very conversant with the matter and was also contacted by one of the slain soldiers through his family to defend them in the trumped up charges, executed using hazy and clandestine Military Court Martial.

According to the int’l rights lawyer, “sometime in Sept 2020, an allegation of missing weapons was made at Abacha Barracks and it was immediately traced to a senior Colonel of Fulani-Hausa Muslim origin and instead of the COAS to issue query and sanction the Colonel, he exonerated him on the grounds of his tribe and religion. The COAS turned around and ordered for the arrest of 12 soldiers guarding the armory, comprising six Igbo soldiers, three Yoruba soldiers and three Fulani-Hausa Muslim soldiers. In the end, the latter soldiers were shielded and exonerated under questionable circumstances and the six Igbo soldiers made to face secret court martial during which they were blocked and prevented from having access to their families and defense lawyers of their choice”.

Barr E.R. Okoroafor also told the Coalition that his attempts to stand in for the Igbo soldiers were stiffly opposed and he was flimsily told by the Army’s Legal Department that “civilian lawyers are not allowed to defend the accused soldiers except military lawyers”. Their trial was totally shrouded in secrecy and never disclosed to the public through Army statements till date; likewise their constitutional right of appeal to Court of Appeal and Supreme Court which was also totally denied. The persecuted and executed soldiers protested their innocence to the point of tendering their resignation in protest; all to no avail.

Apart from their secret execution being totally despicable and condemnable and a clear case of ethnic cleansing, the Coalition also strongly suspects that the six Igbo soldiers were framed or singled out for persecution on the grounds of their ethnicity and religion. It is also doubtful whether the offense of ‘missing weapons’ in peace time is commensurable with death sentence in the Nigerian Military laws, all subject to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Another shocking part was where the immediate past Army Chief derived his power to order for secret execution of “justly” and “unjustly” convicted soldiers. This is more so when there is a national moratorium on death penalty in Nigeria. The Coalition therefore notes further that dozens, if not hundreds of Igbo soldiers have in recent times particularly since 2017/8 died under similar circumstances both in battle fronts and ‘peace time’. Additionally, there have been several reported and unreported cases of dismissals, resignations and desertions involving soldiers and officers of old Eastern Nigeria extraction on account of the ethnic cleansing under Buratai as Nigerian Army Chief.

Hundreds Of Obigbo Army Abductees Still Unaccounted For

According to facts available at Intersociety, hundreds of defenseless Obigbo residents are still missing or unaccounted for more than three months after their abduction by the Nigerian Army under Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (as he then was). A total of over 400 Obigbo residents had gone missing between late Oct and second week of Nov 2020 after the Army invasion of Obigbo and its environs on 21st Oct 2020; out of which 52 were rescued and freed in Niger State. Total of 93 others have so far been rescued and freed in Abuja. As it stands, 63 more names have been traced to different Army secret detention facilities in Abuja and at least three have been confirmed killed in Army detention among hundreds of those still being held captive and incommunicado in secret military locations..

Recommendations

·         It is our strong recommendationthat the named perpetrators especially Retired Lt Gen Tukur Buratai must face prosecution and life jail at ICC or in national courts in any foreign country operating int’l criminal jurisdictions on crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

·         We also call for a harvest of civil suits  against the perpetrators by human rights lawyers and victims of the horrendous crimes under reference

·         Members of the international community especially the western democracies and the UN as well as international human rights organizations and institutions are particularly called upon to take diplomatic and advocacy notice of the named perpetrators and their atrocity crimes. This is for purpose of holding them judicially accountable and ensuring that they end up being int’l pariahs.

·         The int’l Governments and Intergovernmental agencies should ensure that the perpetrators are declared “persona non gratae” including slamming them with appropriate international sanctions.

·         Sanctions against them should include  making them ineligible in all regional and international military, policing and other security or diplomatic engagements especially those involving corporate and individual or intergovernmental consultancies, contracts, partnerships, exchange visits, awards, presentations, board or institution appointments, holidays, etc.

·         Other non judicial sanctions being recommended against the perpetrators include denying them and their family members visas, freezing their accounts and seizing or confiscating their assets abroad, etc.

·         It is also our expert information that the perpetrators especially Lt Gen Tukur Buratai can be arrested and  taken into custody in foreign land and criminally charged through the instruments of municipal, active personality, passive personality and universal or international criminal jurisdictions or be sued through the instruments of civil claimant litigations, etc.

End of Executive Summary

Nigeria Grievously Breaches Its Int’l Commitments

The Nigerian Government is a monumental failure in terms of keeping with its regional and int’l human rights and humanitarian obligations or commitments. The grievous rights abuses and violations by the Government and its security chiefs include those provided and clearly defined in various international instruments with ‘justiciable binding effects’. Among them are crimes of genocide defined by the Article 6 of the Rome Statute; crimes against humanity defined by the Article 7 and war crimes defined by the Article 8 of the same Rome Statute of the Int’l Criminal Court. The Rome Statute was internationally enacted in 1998 and entered into force in 2001. Nigeria signed and ratified it on 27th Sept 2001.

Nigeria is also signatory to the Genocide Convention of 1948, Geneva Conventions or Laws of War of 1949 and its Protocols and Rules of Engagement (Jus In Bellum, Jus Ad Bellum and Jus Post Bellum) and Use of Force and Proportionality of same. Signed and ratified by Nigeria, too, with binding effects are the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights (including Right to Self Determination via non armed resistance) of 1981; Int’l Covenants on Civil & Political Rights and Economic, Social & Cultural Rights of 1976; Convention against Enforced Disappearances of 2009 and Convention against Torture of 1985. These sets of int’l crimes are also prohibited by the country’s grundnorm or the 1999 Constitution; majorly categorized by the country’s body of criminal laws into: ‘crimes against persons’ and ‘crimes against properties’.

International Prohibited Acts: These include: murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation or forcible transfer of population, unlawful imprisonment, unlawful killings, unlawful executions, abduction of slain victims’ bodies, extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, torture, persecution against an identifiable group on the grounds of tribe/ethnicity and religion, enforced disappearance of persons, the crime of apartheid and other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

19 Massacres Perpetrated By Nigerian Army Under Buratai & Ors

Not only that many, if not most of the heinous crimes highlighted above were grisly perpetrated in Nigeria when Retired Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai held sway as the country’s Army Chief, but there was also zero accountability as they were swept under the carpet till date by the authorities; thereby breaching the Rome Statute’s ‘Principle of Complimentarity & Zero Impunity’. Under Retired Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai as Nigeria’s Army Chief, according to grounded statistics provided by the Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law; a highly respected research and investigative advocacy group monitoring the grievous crimes and their perpetrators since 2015; the following 19 massacres and related others have taken place with none of the perpetrators brought to justice till date.

They include: (1) the 30th August 2015 massacre of 40 defenseless citizens of Judeo-Christian faith during peaceful protests in Onitsha, Enugu, Yenagoa, Uyo, Port Harcourt and Asaba; (2) 2nd and 17th Dec 2015 massacre of 30 defenseless citizens of same faith in Onitsha; and (3) 14th-15th Dec 2015 massacre of no fewer than 1000 unarmed Shiite Muslims during their religious processions in Zaria (Government later admitted massacring 348);  (4) 18th and 29th Jan 2016  massacre of 20 defenseless citizens of Judeo-Christian faith during peaceful protests in Aba; (5)  9th Feb 2016 massacre of 30 unarmed protesters in Aba;  (6) 29th and 30th May 2016 massacre of 140 defenseless citizens of Judeo-Christian faith during global Igbo Heroes Day in Onitsha and Nkpor (110 deaths) and Asaba (30 deaths), (7) the 2016 starvation to death of 240 civilian detainees including 29 children with ages between newborn and five years at Giwa Army Barracks in Maiduguri, Borno State (AI Report: 2016);  (8) 7th Jan 2017 military massacre (air bombing) of 236 internally displaced persons (IDPs) at Christian IDP camp in Kala-Balge, Borno State;  (9) 20th Jan 2017 massacre of 20 unarmed protesters (pro-Trump rally) in Port Harcourt; (10)  4th Dec 2017 massacre (air bombing) of 50 rural Christians in Numan, Adamawa State; and (11) 11th to 14th Sept 2017 massacre of over 180 unarmed and defenseless citizens of Judeo-Christians faith in Ogwe, Aba, Isiala-Ngwa and Umuahia, all in Abia State.

The rest are:  (12) 29th and 30th Oct 2018 massacre of 47 Shiite Muslims in Abuja; (13) 29th/30th June 2020 Army massacre of 30 unarmed Tiv Christians in Taraba State; (14) 23rd August 2020 Army massacre of  over 30 Judeo-Christian worshippers and sports activists in Emene, Enugu State; (15) 20th  night of Oct 2020 massacre of over 20 defenseless protesters in Lekki, Lagos State; (16) Oct 2020 massacre by Army/Police of over 300 unarmed citizens across Nigeria during the EndSARS protests including over 70 killed in Lagos and 50 killed in the Southeast, (17) Oct/Nov 2020 massacre by Army of not some 102 defenseless Igbo citizens in Obigbo, Rivers State, (18) abduction between 22nd Oct and 10th Nov 2020 of over 400 defenseless Obigbo residents in Rivers State and their clustered incommunicado detention in different military dungeons in Northern Nigeria, during which scores were tortured or shot dead in captivity; and  (19) Jan 2021  killings by Nigerian Army in Orlu, Imo State where about defenseless residents of the area have so far been reported killed. The Orlu Army killings is led by a hateful Fulani-Hausa Muslim Army commander, named ‘Brig Gen Ibrahim Tukura’, Commandant, 34 Brigade, Obinze, near Owerri, Imo State.

Other Leading Perpetrators In The 19 Massacres

(1)Retired Lt Gen Abayomi Olanisakin, former Chief of Defense Staff (co-supervised the Sept 2017 massacre of over 180 defenseless Southeasterners and maiming of over 130 others in Abia and killing of not less than 102 Obigbo residents, maiming of 120 others and abduction of over 400), (2) Retired Air Chief Marshall Sadique Abubakar (supervised the air bombing of not less than 300 Christians in Jan and Dec 2017 in Borno and Adamawa States), (3) Major Gen Ibrahim Attahiru (new Army Chief of Staff and coordinator of the massacre of 216 defenseless Easterners in 2015/6 in Anambra and Abia States), (4) Retired IGP Solomon Arase and Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotum Idris (co-supervised the massacre of over 400 defenseless Easterners on 30th  August, 2nd and 17th Dec 2015, 18th and 29th Jan, 9th Feb and 29th and 30th May 2016 in Anambra and Abia and 20th Jan and 11th-14th Sept 2017 in Abia and Rivers States), (5) Retired Director Musa Daura (former DG, SSS and state intelligence provider in referenced massacres that took place in 2015, 2016 and 2017) and (6) Major Gen Adamu Baba Abubakar, (former GOC, 82 Division, Enugu and coordinator of the massacre of over 180 defenseless Easterners in Sept 2017), (7)  Major Gen Lasisi Adegboye (current GOC, 82 Division, Enugu and formerly a principal staff officer of the Division and co-coordinator of the massacre of over 180 defenseless Easterners in Abia State in Sept 2017).

The rest are: (8) Major Gen Abdul Kalifa Ibrahim (former Brigade Commander, 14 Brigade, Ohafia and co-coordinator of the massacre in Sept 2017),  (9) Major Gen John Enenche (former Defense Headquarters Spokesman and co-supervisor of the massacre of 180 defenseless Easterners in Sept 2017), (10) Brig Gen Isa Maigari Abdullahi (former Commandant of 302 Artillery, Onitsha and coordinator of the 2nd and 17th Dec 2015 and 29th and 30th May 2016 massacre of over 180 defenseless Easterners in Anambra and Delta States, (11) Retired DIG Jabila Joshak (9th Feb 2016 Aba massacre), (12) Retired AIG Hosea Karma (2016 World Igbo Day massacre in Anambra and Delta), (13) Retired DIG Anthony Ogbizi (Sept 2017 massacre in Aba, Umuahia, etc), (14) AIG Babatunde Johnson Kokumo (2016 World Igbo Heroes Day massacre in Anambra), (15) Major Gen I.H. Bature (Sept 2017 massacre in Aba, Umuahia, etc), (16) Major Gen Enobong Okon Udo(supervisor of 20th Jan 2017 pro Trump rally killing of 20 defenseless citizens in Port Harcourt, Rivers State),  (17) Brig Gen Sagir Musa (co-supervisor in the killings of Dec 2015 to Sept 2017 in Anambra and Abia), (18) Col Umar Sidi Kasim (Commanding Officer, 144 Battalion, Asa in Abia State and coordinator of the 9th Feb 2016 and Sept 2017 massacres in Aba, Umuahia, etc), (19) Col C.O. Ibrahim (Onitsha Cantonment Military Police Officer and troop commander of  the 29th and 30th May 2016 World Igbo Heroes Day massacre in Anambra and Delta), (20) Govs William Obiano and (21) Victor Ikpeazu of Anambra and Abia States (mobilized and funded the 2016 World Igbo Heroes Day massacre in Anambra and the 9th Feb 2016 and Sept 2017 massacres in Aba, Umuahia and others), etc. The office immunities of the two Govs will elapse on 17th March 2022 and 29th May 2023 respectively.

Attached Photos belong to four of the six slain Igbo Christian soldiers; namely: (1) Prince Ukwuoma (in Army uniform with rifle), (2) Ebube Isaiah (in Army uniform with rifle), (3) Moses Anyim (in civilian cap) and (4) Godwin Uchendu (in passport)

Signatories:

·         Emeka Umeagbalasi (M.Sc.), Board Chair, Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law

·         Prof Anthony Ejiofor-Chairman, World Igbo Congress (USA)

·         Prof Uzodimma Nwala-President, Ala-Igbo Dev Foundation (ADF)

·         Prof Justice Chidi-President, Concerned Elites for Better Society Initiative

·         Prof Justin Akujieze-President, Ekwenche Research Institute (USA)

·         Dr. Moses Nwaigwe-President, Biafra Genocide Survivors Group (USA)

·         Austin Okeke, Esq.-Global Leader, Igbo Board of Deputies (UK)

·         Kanayo K. Odeluga, MD., MPH-Executive Director, Igbo League, Inc.(USA)

·         Mercy Alu, MBA, PhD-Executive Coordinator, the Int’l Association of African Authors & Scholars (USA)

·         Dr. Onyenkachi Orjiako, Esq.-Rep, Int’l  Society for War Against Lawlessness (USA)

·         Dr. Okezie Kelechi-ED, Neighborhood Environment Watch Foundation

·         Dr. Jerry Chidozie Chukwuokoro-Rep, Int’l Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative

·         Comrades Chilos Godsent & Zulu Ofoelue-Reps, Igbo National Council

·         Ezekwike Chekwube Violet, Esq.-Founder, New Home Mentoring & Dev Initiative

·         Comrade Aloysius Attah-Chair, Civil Liberties Organization, Southeast

·         Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, President, Igbo Ekunie Initiative

·         Comrade Justine Ijeoma-ED, Human Rights Social Dev & Environmental Foundation

·         Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme-Chair, Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State

·         Comrade Peter Onyegiri-ED, Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy

·         Comrade Alex Olisa-Rep, Southeast Good Governance Forum

·         Comrade Nnana Nelson Nwafor-ED, Foundation for Environment Rights Advocacy & Dev.

·         Comrade Nkwocha Anozie-ED, Initiative for Ideal Dev & Emancipatory Leadership

·         Comrade Emeku Uche-Rep, Easy-life Initiative for Rural Youths

·         Comrade Samuel Njoku-Chair, Human Rights Organization of Nigeria

·         Comrade Ngwobia O. Ngwobia-Rep Primate Salvation Initiative

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#EndSARS: DJ Switch To Speak To International Criminal Court Today |The Republican News

By Arogbonlo Israel

DJ Switch, a Nigerian female disc jockey, says she’ll be addressing the International Criminal Court (ICC) today, 17th December, 2020 over the #EnSARS protests that greeted the country in October.

Her words; “Tomorrow 17th of December 2020, I will be speaking at the 19th assembly of states parties to the International Criminal Court.

“I know we are all experiencing hardship one way or the other, I know it seems like no one cares enough for Nigeria and Africa to help us fight our oppressors. but this is the generation that does not take NO for an answer! So let me tell you straight up, it will take time… Maybe a long time.”

“So what do we have to lose that we already did not have? Security? Jobs? A working health system? What do we have to lose? Don’t give up! I told you… I’m not great at social media and updates but we are fighting seriously behind the scenes, something will definitely give,” she wrote.

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Why Buhari Is The Only World Leader Invited By ICC – Nigerian Envoy

Buhari-in-the-Hague

 

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Oji Ngofa, on Sunday said the decision of the International Criminal Court to invite only President Muhammadu Buhari among other world leaders to the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the Court was an indication of the high regard in which Nigeria is held.

Ngofa said this in an interview with journalists in The Hague ahead of Buhari’s arrival in the country.

He explained that Nigeria has always been a strong pillar of support to the ICC, especially in Africa, since the adoption of the Rome Statute establishing the Court on July 17, 1998.

The envoy said, ‘‘As the only Head of State invited to this milestone event by the Court, that is indicative of the high regard in which Nigeria is held.

‘‘Nigeria has always been a strong pillar of support to the ICC especially in Africa, in the last 20 years, and this visit shows that this support is recognised and appreciated.

‘‘Whilst there has been some criticism of the Court, President Buhari believes that its work is vital to preventing impunity worldwide, and ensuring accountability for perpetrators of the most serious crimes.

‘‘I am certain that this visit will reassure the ICC that Nigeria remains a strong advocate of the ideals of the Rome Statute.”

Ngofa expressed the belief that Buhari’s visit will be an opportunity to show Nigeria’s appreciation for the honour done to the country by electing a Nigerian as President of the Court.

‘‘The President of the Court, Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji is a distinguished Nigerian jurist.

‘‘His election as President by his peers in March 2018 indicates that his cerebral and leadership traits have not gone unnoticed,’’ he said.

The ambassador expressed satisfaction with the current volume of trade between the two counties which he said currently stood at 3 billion Euro in the first quarter of 2018.

He said Nigeria was working hard to diversify its export base and increase the non-oil exports from Nigeria to the Netherlands, in line with the administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

He added, ‘‘The latest figures released by the NBS (Q1) 2018 shows that the Netherlands is currently Nigeria’s largest trading partner, with the trade volume of over €3 billion (N1.2 trillion).

‘‘This total is composed of imports from the Netherlands worth €726 million and exports to the Netherlands of €2.29 billion. Nigeria, therefore, has a healthy trade surplus with the Netherlands.

‘‘However, a majority of the value of the exports are petroleum-based.”

Ngofa also spoke on the visa policy of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria.

In 2013, the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria had swapped their visa application processes in Nigeria with the French Consulate-General in Lagos and the Embassy of Belgium in Abuja.

The envoy said, ”This has been one recurring theme in my interactions with the Dutch authorities since my arrival as Ambassador late last year. I also had to get my visa to this country from the Belgian embassy in Abuja, and upon my arrival, I have kept this issue on the front burner with host authorities.

”We have made series of representations and the Dutch have promised to expedite action to see that their Embassy resumes issuance of Schengen visas in Abuja.

”We believe that with the increasing trade relations between our countries, priority must be given by the Dutch to visa applicants in Nigeria, as this would facilitate business and people-to-people contact.”

On other consular issues, the Ambassador praised Nigerian community in the Netherlands for being generally law-abiding and contributing positively to various aspects of Dutch society.

”There are, however, a few Nigerians who are detained mainly for immigration and sundry offences.

”The Embassy always provides consular assistance to them, upon their request, and also liaises with the host authorities to ensure that the basic human rights of the detainees are respected. From our records, there are less than 30 Nigerians detained in the Netherlands,” he said.  (Punch)

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Biafra: FG Worried As ICC Steps Up Investigations Against Nigeria |RN

malami
              Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Federal Government is worried that the International Criminal Court is unrelenting in pursuing eight cases against Nigeria, says the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubabakar Malami (SAN).

He said this on Thursday while playing host to the newly elected President of the ICC, Prof. Chile Osuji, at his office in Abuja.

Malami said the ICC had “escalated” eight potential cases against Nigeria from “the initial preliminary examination to a preliminary investigation”.

Six of the cases were said to be against Boko Haram and two against the military.

He said the stepping up of the investigation against Nigeria was worrisome because the government had demonstrated its willingness and ability to arrest, investigate and prosecute anyone that committed any offence that fell within the Rome Statute of the ICC.

Malami said, “Presently, the ICC has escalated the eight potential cases against Nigeria – six against the Boko Haram and two against the military – from the initial preliminary examination to the preliminary investigation.

“This is worrisome, as Nigeria has demonstrated beyond doubt, and in absolute cooperation with the ICC, that it is willing and able and, as a matter of fact, it is indeed arresting, investigating and prosecuting anyone that commits an offence that falls within the Rome Statute of the ICC.

“The above being the case, Nigeria views the escalation of the eight potential cases as uncalled for in the circumstance.”

He assured the ICC president that Nigeria is “a country that believes in the operation of the rule of law, fundamental freedom and the need to fight impunity in all ramifications” the escalation of the eight potential cases “would not deter us from further expressing and demonstrating support to the ICC.”

Responding, Osuji commended Nigeria for its support to the ICC and assured that the court would continue to work against injustice and abuse of powers in its area of jurisdiction.

The ICC President described as inaccurate and erroneous the impression that Article 27 of the Rome Statute that prohibits immunity being extended to any head of state or senior government officials was targeted at African leaders.

He said the provision and the reason for that portion of the Rome Statute predated independence of African states.  (Punch)

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International Criminal Court (ICC) To Probe Herdsmen Attacks In Nigeria |RN

 

ICC1

The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands has assured the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) that it had begun an investigation into herdsmen attacks in the country.

It’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, said in Abuja yesterday that it received a letter from the ICC informing it of the decision.

HURIWA said in a statement that the letter dated August 15, 2017, and signed by its Head of Information and Evidence Unit, Office of the Prosecutor, Mark Dillon, was a sequel to HURIWA’s petition to the global rights court.

It said the group demanded the prosecution of sponsors of the herdsmen attacks since President Muhammadu Buhari had failed to sanction those, it described as mass murderers two years on.

The statement added that in its letter dated September 15, 2016, titled: “Unlawful Homicide Under Nigerian Laws and the Obligation of the Nigerian State to Enforce the Laws,” noted that it invited the ICC to investigate the killings in Nigeria.

In ICC’s response, it told HURIWA that a similar petition had been filed and that the matter was already under preliminary examination by the office of the chief prosecutor.”On behalf of the prosecutor, I thank you for your communication received on 15/09/2016 and subsequent related information.

“It appears that your communication relates to a situation already under preliminary examination by the office of the prosecutor,” the ICC letter read in part.

The court added that HURIWA communication would be analysed in relation to other related communication and available information.

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) yesterday asked ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to investigate allegations of corruption in the electricity sector since 1999 amounting to over N11 trillion.

The corruption in the sector, it said, amounted to crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the ICC, and to prevail on the Nigerian government to surrender all suspected perpetrators for trial.The request was predicated on the fact that the country was party to the Rome Statute and deposited its instrument of ratification on September 27, 2001.

In a petition signed by its deputy director, Timothy Adewale, the group said, “allegations of corruption in the electricity sector have had catastrophic effects on the lives of millions of Nigerians, akin to crimes against humanity as contemplated under the Rome Statue and within the jurisdiction of the Court.”

“The Rome Statute in article 7 defines ‘crime against humanity’ to include ‘inhumane acts causing great sufferings or injury,’ committed in a widespread or systematic manner against a civilian population,” it added.The report also said the total estimated financial loss to Nigeria from corruption in the electricity sector since the return to democracy in 1999 amounts to over N11 trillion.

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Quit Notice: Igbo Lawyer Sues FG, IGP Demanding Arrest Of Arewa Youth Leaders, Others |RN

 

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Coalition of Arewa Youths

I, Barr. Vincent Egechukwu Obetta, Director STREETLAW AFRICA INC. on behalf of all Indigenes of the South East Zone of Nigeria resident in the Northern parts of Nigeria, (hereinafter referred to as Ndigbo resident in the North), hereby issue the following World Press Statement that:

 

  1. On 11/07/2017, I, on behalf of Ndigbo residents in the North, filed 3 suits at the Abuja Federal High Court (FHC) and ECOWAS Court respectively, comprising (a) A Motion for an Order of Mandamus of the FHC, compelling the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to arrest and prosecute WITHIN 7 DAYS, all such Persons led by one Alhaji Yerima Shettima under the aegis of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), who on 06/06/2017, issued a Treasonable Notice to Ndigbo in the North, to vacate the Region before the 01/10/2017, or else …. (b) A Fundamental Rights Enforcement Suit filed at the FHC, against Alh Yerima Shettima, the IGP and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), to enforce the Fundamental Rights of Ndigbo in the North, to move freely throughout Nigeria, and to reside in any part thereof, as guaranteed them under Section 41(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended (c) A Fundamental Rights Enforcement Suit filed at the ECOWAS Court, against Alh Yerima Shettima, the IGP and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), to enforce the Fundamental Right of Ndigbo in the North, to move freely throughout Nigeria, and to reside in any part thereof.
  2. I hereby put the above Respondents on Notice that if it pleases the Hon Court to grant the above Mandamus Order as prayed, and the IGP fails and neglects to comply with such Order of Mandamus of the FHC within the timeline thereon specified, I would have no other choice than to proceed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Holland, to press Criminal Charges against them, of Aiding and Abetting a second Genocide against the Ndigbo in the North, the first Genocide having taken place in 1966 with no one held to account in that regard, till date.
    My Criminal Suit for such second Genocide against Ndigbo in the North, will be filed against (i) Alh Yerima Shettima (ii) The IGP (iii) The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as the Chief Law Officer of Nigeria (iv) Prof Ango Abdullahi and (v) Prof Yemi Osinbajo as the Ag. President of Nigeria when the 06/06/2017 Threat of a second Genocide against Ndigbo in the North, was issued.
    The IGP, AGF and Prof Yemi Osinbajo would be charged before the ICC as above stated, for looking the other way, and deliberately failing / neglecting to arrest and prosecute Prof Ango Abdullahi, Alh. Yerima Shettima and his Group, etc, since the 06/06/2017 when this DESPICABLE Threat was issued against Ndigbo in the North; and thereby Aiding, Abetting, Condoning and Encouraging a second Genocide against Ndigbo in the North.

  3. Should it become necessary to proceed to the ICC due to a REFUSAL by the IGP to PROMPTLY comply with above Order of Mandamus, NOTHING will stop us from revisiting and pressing Charges at the said ICC, against ALL the Ringleaders of the 1966 Genocide against Ndigbo in the North.

  4. It has just been announced with cynical fanfare, that the above AYCF has ‘suspended’ its 6/6/17 ‘Quit Notice’ against Ndigbo in the North. I hereby wish to make it categorically clear that this so-called suspension of the Quit Notice CANNOT in law, extinguish the GRAVE OFFENCE committed by Alh Yerima and his Group against Ndigbo in the North, on 06/06/17. Alh. Yerima MUST be arrested and prosecuted alongside other Ring-Leaders of the AYCF, for their TREASONABLE THREAT against Ndigbo, to quit the North before the 01/10/2017. NOTHING short of such Arrest and Prosecution will suffice to settle above 3 Suits, as filed.

  5. It is no longer News that the cynical silence and manifest bias of the FGN and its Agencies since the 06/06/2017 when the Treasonable Threat against Ndigbo was issued, has encouraged and opened a floodgate of ‘Hate Speeches and Songs’ currently awash on the Internet.

  6. Ndigbo in the North and indeed all over Nigeria, have been the butt / victims of Cynicism, Oppression, Repression and Extreme Marginalization since the end of the Civil War on 15/01/1970. Ndigbo in the North have ever since, been serially and SEVERALLY attacked and massacred at the slightest pretext, by Northern Elements such as the Alh. Shettima’s AYCF.

  7. Irrespective of all above atrocities daily committed against Ndigbo in Nigeria, the latter have remained calm and focused on their Businesses and Enterprises, which have contributed in no small measure to the economic and social development of Nigeria; all what they get in return is daily Oppression, Repression, Extreme Marginalization and sometimes outright massacre in the hands of misguided elements in the North.

  8. Worse still, the FGN which Constitutional Duty it is to safeguard the lives and property of Ndigbo throughout the Federation, has consistently looked the other way in the face of all above atrocities, thereby aiding, abetting, condoning and encouraging same.

  9. The 1966 Massacre of Igbos in the North, was not only condoned, but was celebrated by the eminent Northerners who indeed gloated openly, over the gruesome event.

  10. The 1966 Genocide against Igbos in the North, has since the end of Civil War, been swept under the carpet to the extent that it has been banned by the FGN, from being mentioned in History Lessons in ALL Nigerian Schools. Furthermore, it is NOT even allowed to be mentioned in public and any such mention otherwise, is regarded by the Nigerian State, as Treason.

  11. Since 2015 when the Incumbent FGN came to power, the cries and agitations of Ndigbo against above Repression and Marginalization, have been equated to Treason against the State, to the extent that unarmed and defenseless civilians have been severally shot at and killed by Soldiers of the Nigerian Army especially at Onitsha, Anambra State.
    A recent Report issued by Amnesty International says that not less than 150 such unarmed and defenceless civilians have been shot at and killed by Soldiers of the Nigerian Army especially at Onitsha, since 2015.

  12. It is extremely distressing that coming out of all the recent discourse across the Federation, (which Discourse has been ignited by the ongoing Agitations by Ndigbo), Prof Yemi Osinbajo and ALL other eminent / elder Statesmen have obscenely remarked that in as much as Alh. Yerima Shettima’s Quit Notice to Ndigbo in the North is condemnable, the ongoing agitations by the same Ndigbo should STOP FORTHWITH.
    That is, they mean that the TREASON committed by Alh. Yerima Shettima on 06/06/2017 is a befitting Response to the agitations of Ndigbo, which agitations have since the end of the Civil War, been equated to Treason in any event.

  13. This ABSURD, NONSENSICAL, ILLOGICAL, EXTREMELY INSENSITIVE and IMMORAL position held as above by our elder Statesmen, is akin to positing that a child who is being pummeled and brutalized by his older sibling, can only be rescued from his assailant when he stops crying. That is, for as long as the pummeled child continues to cry, the Pummeling is justified and MUST continue!

  14. A Threat bordering on a flagrant violation of the Fundamental Rights of Ndigbo in the North, and a Notice to the latter, of the second Genocide against them should they fail to comply with such Threat, is regarded under the law as such Fundamental Right already violated, and the Genocide executed!

  15. Under the hallowed principle of ‘ubi jus ubi remedium,’ it is hard to see how the Agitations of an oppressed and marginalized people have violated the Rights of any other Nigerian in any manner whatsoever. On the other hand, the above Threat by Alh. Yerima Shettima and his Group CLEARLY violates the Fundamental Rights of Ndigbo in the North.
    Notwithstanding, the FGN has as above, perversely and consistently held that such Agitations constitute an act of Treason against the State, and therefore DESERVE to be met with Threats of Genocide and Expulsion from the North, by Alh. Shettima and his ilk.
    Gentlemen of the press, may I use this opportunity to thank the United Nations who issued a statement in Geneva on Friday calling on the FGN to immediately arrest members of the Arewa youth group.

  16. Finally, I hereby call on all men of good conscience all over the World (US President, UK Prime Minister, President of China Republic etc), to turn their much eagerly awaited attention to the above deplorable plight of Ndigbo in Nigeria, and bring their influence to bear, to save Ndigbo from IMMINENT ANNIHILATION from the surface of the earth! We Must not allow ugly history to repeat itself in this generation.
    LONG LIVE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA!!!

SINGED: Vincent Egechukwu Obetta Esq.

The Republican News
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Quit Notice: Igbo Diaspora Group To Petition ICC Over Arewa Youths

 

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By Zika Bobby

Miffed by the quit notice issued by the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum to Igbo residing in the northern part of Nigeria, the Igbo World Assembly, (IWA) has said it would liaise with appropriate agencies to file a petition to the International Criminal Court, (ICC) to prevent genocide and bring culprits to book.

In a statement jointly signed by Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze, President, United States’ chapter and Chief Oliver Nwankwor, Secretary General, Netherlands’ chapter respectively, the group noted that those inciting violence by giving fellow citizens quit notice should be held accountable for any incident that might occur within the timeline of the notice.

As a way of handling the threat holistically, IWA said mechanism is in motion to enable Ndigbo residing in the North to report cases of threats, adding that such would be used as pieces of evidence in support of the ICC petition at The Hague. 

Calling for a return to fiscal federalism as contained in the 1963 Constitution as a way forward to save the country from collapse, the group noted that this would enable each region to be responsible for the development and management of resources from their region. “This would foster industrial development and competition among regions instead of the current docile nature of a majority of States as presently constituted.

“Nigeria needs to implement the National confab report, which recommended equity in state creation within the geo-political zones,” the group said, noting that the quit notice declaration was made by a sponsored group with primary intent to steal and suppress the legitimate grievances of others and their inherent right to self-determination.

“The continued agitation of Igbo youths across the country, according to IWA is a by-product of persistent injustice and marginalisation arising from bad leadership and unjust structure of the country’s polity.

The group said a Nigeria of equal ownership is the only way forward to save the situation.

As a way of maintaining sanity in the system, IWA in its recommendation warned that Nigerians across the nation should exercise restraint at this point in time so as not to overheat the polity.

Urging Igbo residing in the North to go about their lawfully business, the group called on security agencies to act accordingly to ensure that there is no intimidation, hindrance or molestation.

It urged the Nigerian government and the International Community to setup mechanism to conduct a referendum in each state and the various geopolitical zones for the people to decide a way forward. It called on the government to work with Ohanaeze and other Igbo groups in the North to help document Igbo properties. (The Sun)

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