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Buhari departs Abuja for Netherlands, to address ICC

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday left Abuja for Netherlands to participate in activities commemorating the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presidential aircraft conveying the president and some of his aides left the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 1.30 p.m.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Musa Bello and the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Idris Ibrahim were among government officials at the airport to bid the President farewell.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity on Saturday disclosed that Buhari was the only world leader invited to deliver a keynote address during the Solemn Hearing to commemorate the anniversary at Courtroom 1 of the ICC’s Headquarters at The Hague.

He said: “In buttressing Nigeria’s commitment as a member of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC, the President, as the current anti-corruption champion for the African Union, will use the global platform to reaffirm Nigeria’s support to the fundamental values of the Rome Statute and to the ideals of the ICC.’’

Adesina said the President would also highlight his administration’s campaign against corruption in Nigeria at the event.

The presidential aide further revealed that, after the event at the Courtroom, the President would have a bilateral meeting with the ICC Prosecutor, Ms Fatou Bensouda.

He said that Buhari would also attend a dinner hosted by Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, the President of the ICC who is a Nigerian.

“The Nigerian leader, while in The Hague, will meet with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, to discuss bilateral issues such as migration, peace and security, and economic cooperation.

“The President and his delegation will have a separate round table with some Dutch Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of companies based in Nigeria with a view to urging them to expand their investments, especially in agriculture, oil and gas in Nigeria,’’ Adesina added.

He said Buhari would also tour the Port of Rotterdam and Shell refinery in Pernis, Hoogvliet.

According to Adesina, on the margins of the President’s visit, Nigeria and the Netherlands will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral consultations.


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