Nigeria’s Commitment to Prosecuting International Crimes and the Place of the International Criminal Court

Titus Kehinde Adekunle, Nucha Suntai Gambo


Since the beginning of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria in 2009, and the extrajudicial killing of Muhammed Yusuf (the group’s founder and leader), there emerged accusations of human rights abuses against the Nigeria military on their counter insurgency struggles on one hand, and on the other hand, Boko Haram have committed atrocities involving crimes of murder, rape, kidnapping, using women and girls as suicide bombers. There were other crimes not associated with the Boko Haram insurgency. These include the ethnic and religious violence in the Middle Belt since the early 1990s, the clash between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and the Nigerian Army in December 2015, and the killings of Biafran protesters in 2017. There is also the farmers/herders conflict which recorded more death in 2014 than Boko Haram. All these atrocities have gained the attention of the international community and many (especially the International Criminal Court-ICC) are pressurising and waiting to see the action of Nigeria in prosecuting such crimes. The ICC has jurisdiction over these crimes but can only prosecutewhen member states are unable or unwilling to prosecute. It is within this context that this paperseeks to examine what the Nigeria state has done and is still doing to bringing perpetrators of international crimes to justice; and to determinewhereand howthe ICC can be involved.Theex-post factor research designwas used for the study and secondary data were collected from textbooks, journal articles, reports, magazines, newspapers, and internet. Data were content analysed.Keywords:Nigeria,International Criminal Court, international crimes, Prosecution, Jurisdiction

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