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CAPPA commends ICC’s decision to investigate war crimes in Nigeria

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Seeks extension of probe to Lekki killings

Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has commended the International Criminal Court (ICC) for concluding preliminary probe into Boko Haram and crimes by security forces of Nigeria against humanity and war crimes to pave way for full investigations.

The ICC Office of the Prosecutor had made the announcement on the Preliminary Investigations on December 11, 2020 and added that the Nigerian government had so far failed in its obligation to hold the shooters accountable.

A statement issued in Lagos by Director of Programmes at CAPPA, Philip Jakpor, commended the ICC for the decision to probe the atrocities, but demanded an extension of its probe to the #EndSARS Lekki shooting of October 20, 2020, which left scores dead and has been denied by the Nigerian authorities.

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On November 20, 2020 CAPPA sent a petition to the ICC, which had signatures of 10,027 individuals and 154 organisations from 75 countries requesting thorough investigation of the killings and prosecution of those behind the dastardly act.

Among the signatories to the petition are two former UN special rapporteurs, several members of the United States Congress, and Cornell and Harvard University professors. A dozen notable international figures also voiced their solidarity with the movement for justice in Nigeria.

CAPPA started the petition on October 23 following what it anticipated would be “unlikely outcomes” of the judicial panels set up to investigate the cases of rights abuses linked to SARS and government initiatives supposedly targeted at addressing the corruption in the system.

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It lamented that after the protests, there have been several reports of police arresting identified protesters, denying them access to their families, lawyers, and prominent supporters denied their right to travel out of the country and use their accounts, among other punitive measures.

Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi said: “While we commend the ICC for its quest to secure justice for victims of appalling crimes committed allegedly committed by all parties in the conflict in Northeast, the mindless shootings in Lekki add another layer to the investigation they must conduct in Nigeria.

“As we have said over time, these happenings are unacceptable. Suddenly, Nigerians are waking up to the reality that the civic space is shrinking.  We believe that having acknowledged receipt of our petition, the ICC will swing into action.”

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