NEWSPOLITICS

ICC: Human rights groups disown allegations against Nigerian military

The Coalition of Civil Society Groups on Human Rights (CCSGHR) have distanced themselves from the position of the International Criminal Court to investigate Nigerian security forces over alleged war crimes. 

The umbrella association of civil society organisations in the country said it is alarmed by the ICC, adding that the criminal court has lost focus and only seeking attention.  

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja through Deputy National Secretary, Comrade Moses Attah, the human rights groups said ICC relied on fake news from the Amnesty International in arriving at its decision on the military. 

They further noted that the criminal court has promoted colonialism in a puerile attempt to return the African continent to western domination. 

The groups added that the ICC is “undertaking a hatchet job in active collaboration with Amnesty International and notoriously to undermine the efforts of the Nigerian Military in the war against terrorism”. 

The coalition, however, urged Nigerians not to tolerate any attempt by individuals and groups to intimidate the country and its Armed Forces in the fight against terrorism. 

While warning all agents of Amnesty International to desist from the despicable attempt to discredit the efforts of the troops, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups expressed solidarity with the Nigerian Military.  

Read the full statement below:

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are all welcome to this press conference by the Coalition of Civil Society Groups on Human Rights in Nigeria to shed light and put issues in proper perspective with regards to the position of the International Criminal Court intending to investigate the Nigerian Security Forces over allegations of crimes against humanity, as well war crimes in the fight against terrorism in the country. 

As a background, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups on Human Rights is the umbrella association of civil society organizations in Nigeria dedicated to tasking the government on the dividends of democracy as well as holding the government accountable in the enforcement of its social contract to the people. 

We are holding this press conference as strategic stakeholders in the war against terrorism in Nigeria in the sense that we have followed the strategies deployed by the Nigerian Military in the prosecution of the war against terrorism closely. 

It suffices to add that the Coalition of Civil Society Groups on Human Rights has in times too numerous to mention issued statements and reports in the appraisal of the operations of the Nigerian Military in the prosecution of the war against terrorism and other acts of militancy in Nigeria. 

We are consequently alarmed by the recent position of the International Criminal Court, alleging that the Nigerian Military would be investigated for crimes against humanity. This, in our opinion, is not only uncharitable but an indication that the International Criminal Court has lost focus of its mandate. 

We wish to state that the attempt by the International Criminal Court in this regards can be best described as attention-seeking in a bid to validate its already eroded relevance in the scheme of affairs on the global scene. 

This attempt at discrediting the efforts of the Nigerian Military is obviously in poor taste and a reason why questions must be asked as regards the objectivity of the ICC in identifying and dealing with crimes against humanity over the years. 

This is also on the heels that the International Criminal Court has over the years displayed an unimaginable level of bias towards the African continent while feigning ignorance to the atrocities and violations committed in western climes. 

The Coalition of Civil Society Groups is alarmed that the International Criminal Court that is neck-deep in credibility issues in its prosecution of perceived crimes against humanity has relied substantially on fake news from the stable of Amnesty International in arriving at its decision on the Nigerian Military.  

In our considered opinion, what the International Criminal Court has attempted in its recent position is nothing but a subtle promotion of colonialism in a puerile attempt to return the African continent to western domination. 

We wish to state that most African governments have challenged the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court, accusing it of being biased against their continent. They have declared their countries’ intention to cease being ICC members. 

Many observers have suggested that the conception of justice in Africa differs from the one adopted by the international community. Proponents of this argument claim that the western conception of justice is being forced upon Africans using the instrument of the International Criminal Court. 

The useful question to ask here would be: Why hasn’t the ICC been able to exercise jurisdiction over atrocity situations outside of Africa? The answer lies in the fact that the ICC has transformed into a political weapon for sale to the highest bidder and this much the promoters of Amnesty International have capitalized on in the case of Nigeria. 

It, therefore, the considered opinion of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups on Human Rights that the ICC is undertaking a hatchet job in active collaboration with Amnesty International and notoriously to undermine the efforts of the Nigerian Military in the war against terrorism. 

We are using this medium to sound a note of warning that Nigerians would not tolerate any attempt by individuals and groups to intimidate Nigeria and its Armed Forces in the fight against terrorism. 

The Coalition of Civil Society Groups is also warning all agents of Amnesty International to desist from the despicable attempt to discredit the efforts of the Nigerian Military in the fight against terrorism. 

The Coalition of Civil Society Groups stands in solidarity with the Nigerian Military and states in unequivocal terms that the efforts of the Nigerian Military are indeed appreciated in the quest towards addressing the threats posed by terrorist groups in Nigeria. 

This press conference is indeed intended to put issues in proper perspectives. Thank you all for your time and attention. 

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