FG committed to end impunity ― Malami

Attorney general and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Monday, assured the global community of the commitment of Nigerian government to the fight against impunity, provide recourse to justice for victims and punishment for perpetrators of the crimes.

This is despite recurrent outcry by Nigerians against thousands who are alleged to be languishing in various illegal detention centres of various security agencies and even correctional centres.

Malami spoke while presenting Nigeria’s statement during the opening of the five-day 18th session of the assembly of state parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), The Hague, the Netherlands.

According to a statement issued by Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and made available to Tribune Online on Tuesday.

Malami said Nigeria was also committed to the criminalisation of starvation as a weapon of war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

He also decried the numerous challenges the International Criminal Court has been facing including increasing attacks against the ICC and its officials, possibilities of further withdrawals from the Rome Statute, weakening of the Rome Statute system and its support across the globe, retreat in multilateral engagement and rising tides of hostility, discrimination, and repression around the world.

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“It is the desire of Nigeria to see ICC overcome all its present challenges and become a global, independent and impartial Court with capability to rid the world of impunity the type that characterized World War one and two,” the Minister has said.

The Minister said Nigeria was also determined to work together with States Parties to oppose efforts to undermine the works of the Court and its independence and impartiality.

“In particular Nigeria strongly condemns threats made against the ICC in some parts of the world, its officials, and those cooperating with the Court.

“Nigeria considers such attacks as calculated attempts to undermine and cripple fight against impunity and the laying of a solid foundation for a peaceful and just world, not only for the present generation, but also for the unborn generations,” he said.

He called on all civilized nations to rise up to this critical challenge, “if we must safeguard the present and future generations from extermination,” he said.

Malami said Nigeria is committed to recognizing the Rome Statute system of justice as key in advancing accountability at the international and national level for sexual and gender-based violence and violence against children as grave crimes, including as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Malami said normalcy was gradually returning to the country from the terrorism of Boko Haram and that “Nigeria is coming out of the woods and will indeed also come out of the numerous cases initiated against her at the ICC.

“Nigeria is not a jungle, it is a peace and justice-loving country which is aspiring to develop and create conducive environment for foreign and other investments, thereby generating jobs and other opportunities for the teeming population.

“Therefore, impunity being a critical element that could prevent this lofty idea from fruition does not have a place and will never be tolerated in all facets of our criminal justice system,” he said.

Prominent lawyer, Mr Femi Falana recently accused the Nigerian Navy of illegally detaining at least 67 Nigerians and that at least 294 others were being held by State Security Services (SSS) aside thousands others held in police custody for offences that had been removed from statutes since 1989.

Some of the prominent Nigerians currently in detention despite court orders include Omowole Sowore, Agba Jalingo, Sheikh ZakZaki, Col. Sambo Dasuki and a certain Navy Capt. Dada Labinjo.

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