A coalition of 17 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), under the auspices of Northern Coalition for Democracy and Justice, NCDJ, want the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) prosecuted for the post-election violence of 2011.
The NCDJ said it had sought the services of an international human rights lawyer working with, International Criminal Court (ICC).
The group said in Abuja Thursday, that it has evidence that the highly inflammatory public comments made by Buhari prior to, during and immediately after the elections-led directly to the deaths of over 800 people and the displacement of more than 65,000 individuals in April 2011.
Professor Goran Sluiter, a partner at the Amsterdam law firm of Prakken d’Oliveira Human Right Lawyers and a lawyer practicing at the ICC, who addressed journalists on behalf of NCDJ said a complaint would be filed in the name of the group to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC in the Hague.
The complaint, according to him, would supplement a previous ICC filing submitted by the NCDJ in May 2011.
“Based on the available evidence, there are compelling reasons to believe that crimes against humanity including murder, torture, rape, forcible population transfer and other inhumane 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 and 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 particular former head of state General Muhammed Buhari” Sluiter said.
He argued further that the evidence collected to date strongly suggested that the highly inflammatory public comments of the then Congress for Progress Change (CPC) presidential candidate in 2011 was responsible for the deaths of over 800 people and displacement of more than 65,000 individuals.
Sluiter stated that bringing those responsible for electoral violence to account would go a long way towards diminishing such threats and restoring faith and confidence in Nigeria’s political system.
He maintained that NCDJ represents the aspirations of all Nigerians who look forward to a day when their country’s politicians regardless of their party, faith, ethnicity or geographic affiliation can and will refrain from the kind of hateful and sectarian rhetoric that inevitably leads to death, destruction and displacement. Professor Sluiter will be in Abuja from 22 – 25 January in order to consult with the NCDJ and other stakeholders.
Umar Farouk Secretary General of NCJD, said the group was compelled to reiterate its resolve to sustain the process for the prosecution of Buhari for his role that led to the 2011 post election violence in some parts of the North.
He said it is in the interest of the nation that those responsible for the premeditated arson, killings and destruction of properties must be brought to justice noting that the case when instituted in 2011 was devoid of partisanship and any form of political coloration.