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ICC acknowledges petition by Yoruba self-determination groups against FG

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Prof Banji Akintoye


Petitioners want Buhari, others investigated, prosecuted, jailed for genocide crimes against humanity

The Yoruba self-determination group, Ilana Omo Oodua, led by Prof. Banji Akintoye, said the International Criminal Court (ICC) had on Tuesday formally acknowledged receipt of the 27-page petition it filed along with Yoruba activist, Sunday ‘Igboho’ and other 49 secessionist organisations against President Muhammad Buhari, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai and former Inspectors-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and Mohammed Adamu.

In a statement, yesterday, Communications Manager of Ilana Omo Oodua, Maxwell Adeleye, said the petition was submitted at the ICC by an international lawyer, Aderemilekun Omojola.

In the petition, the Nigerian leaders were accused of genocide and crimes against humanity against the Yoruba people. Others who signed the petition with Akintoye and ‘Ighoho’ are Chief Imam of Yoruba in Ilorin, Kwara State, Shielk Raheem Aduranigba; Leader of Obinrin Oodua Agbaye, Chief Simisade Kuku; Leader of Yoruba Strategy Alliance, Babatunde Omololu; General Secretary of Ilana Omo Oodua, George Akinola and 44 others.

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Other Nigerian government leaders petitioned were Comptroller General of Customs, Hammid Alli; Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba; Chief of Army Staff, Farouk Yahaya; former Chief of Air Force, Sadiq Abubakar; former Commandant-General of NSCDC, Ahmed Abubakar Audi; Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Services, Mohammed Babandede and the Current Commandant-General of NSCDC, Abdulahi Gana Muhammadu.

MEANWHILE, in a letter of acknowledgement to the petitioners’ lawyer, the ICC’s Head of Information and Evidence Unit of the Office of the Prosecutor, Mr. Mark P. Dilon, wrote: “As soon as a decision is reached to formally commence investigation into this petition, we will inform you in writing and provide you with reasons for this decision.

“This communication has been duly entered in the communications register of the office. We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

The 27-page petition accused Buhari, Malami, Buratai and others of genocide offences, such as killing members of the petitioners’ group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; and deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part.

They were also accused of crimes against humanity, such as murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population, torture, rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity.

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