Counsel representing a Coalition of Northern Civil Society Organisations at the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC), Professor Goran Sluiter, on Thursday, filed supplementary evidence against the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari, over his alleged role in 2011 post-election violence.
Sluiter, who spoke on live telephone from Hague, headquarters of the court, during a news conference in Abuja, said the full version of the case of over 66 pages with the supplementary evidence, including video clips, were submitted to the prosecutor at about 3.00p.m on Thursday.
Secretary General, Documentation and Research, Northern Coalition for Democracy and Justice, Dr Ibrahim Baba, who addressed the news conference, insisted that Buhari must be prosecuted to serve as deterrent. The group will pursue the case until it reaches a logical conclusion, despite death threats from the supporters of Buhari, he added.
According to him, supplementary evidence would complement a previous ICC filing submitted by the NCDJ in May, 2011. The evidence had been submitted for forensic investigation.
Baba added that the group had overwhelming evidence to prosecute Buhari at the ICC for allegedly instigating the 2011 post-election violence that claimed the lives of about 800 people.
He said an international human rights lawyer, Professor Goran Sluiter, a partner at the Amsterdam law firm of Prakken d’Oliveira Human Rights Lawyers, was engaged to immediately commence the process of prosecution at the ICC.
Baba noted that since the Federal Government had not demonstrated political will to prosecute Buhari, the groups had to approach the court because Nigeria was a signatory to international laws.
Baba said dragging Buhari to ICC was not politically motivated as the case had been pending since 2011 “because we could not influence the case to be expeditiously dispensed.”
He said there was no need to keep silent to allow reoccurrence of similar violence in this election. He said categorically that the post-election violence in 2011 was not spontaneous but as a result of the inflammatory statements by Buhari.
“Based on the available evidence, there are compelling reasons to believe that crimes against humanity; including murder, torture, r*pe; forcible population transfer, persecution and other inhuman acts, were committed in the context of the politically-motivated sectarian violence that immediately followed the Nigerian presidential elections of April, 2011.
“Due to the seriousness of these crimes, the lack of adequate response by the Nigerian authorities, the prosecutor of the ICC will be asked to conduct investigations into the alleged acts and their perpetrators, in state, General Muhammadu Buhari.”
He said the evidence collected to date strongly suggested that the highly inflammatory public comments made by Buhari prior to, during and immediately following the elections led directly to the deaths of over 800 people and the displacement of more than 65,000 individuals in April, 2011.