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‘Leave Nigerian military alone’ — Ndume tackles ICC over war crimes investigation

‘Leave Nigerian military alone’ — Ndume tackles ICC over war crimes investigation
December 16
13:37 2020

Ali Ndume, chairman of the senate committee on army, has asked Amnesty International and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to leave the military out of its investigation on war crimes.

Fatou Bensouda, ICC prosecutor, had earlier disclosed that there is “reasonable basis to believe that members of the Nigerian Security Forces (NSF)” had committed crimes.

The ICC’s preliminary probe started a decade ago on November 8, 2010.

The prosecutor alleged that Boko Haram and the Nigerian military have committed crimes against humanity, adding that the Nigerian government has failed in its obligations to hold those responsible to account.


Amnesty International had backed the ICC prosecutor’s findings and called for immediate investigation into war crime allegations against the military and Boko Haram.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Ndume said both international organisations should leave the Nigeria military alone.

He said there are internal structures in place to probe cases of human rights abuses by members of the security agencies.


Ndume said both organisations refused to help Nigeria with resources to fight the insurgency.

“Right now, what the ICC is trying to do is destroying things instead of helping matters. You cannot cry more than the bereaved and they cannot be the prosecutor without the plaintiff. How can they prosecute without the plaintiff? We have the Nigerian government, the federal parliament and the nation’s judiciary,” he said.

“If there are human rights abuses, it is only when there is a failure on the part of the three arms of government to act swiftly that we can draw the attention of the international community to it.

“There was a kind of confusion that led to the isolated cases of human rights abuses by the Nigerian Army and some of the armed forces. However, we stood up against it that time and that led to some soldiers court-martialed for human rights abuses.


“Some were even dismissed from the army. For example, for involving in rape cases; it is not that the Nigerian Army is not doing anything about it. There is a department known as civil-military relations, created by the Nigerian Army to address such cases and they are doing well.

“The power of investigation lies with the National Assembly. Nigerians know where they would report cases of human rights abuses in case it happens anywhere.

“Let the Amnesty International and others leave us alone. These are the same international organisations that refused to give us support needed to fight the insurgency.

“The same international organisations also refused to refer to Boko Haram as a terrorist organization but rather prefer to refer to the insurgents as non-state actors.”


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