By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
A coalition of civil society groups of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to make moves towards quitting the International Criminal Court (ICC), describing it as a tool in the hands of the west.
The group in a statement signed by its convener, Mallam Yusuf Amoke said that the ICC is lopsided and selective.
“It has been an outcry on the side of Africans as it concerns the administration of justice at the ICC. Records have it that all of the 15 persons that have ever been detained by the ICC since its establishment in 2006 are Africans,” it said.
The coalition went on to state that though these Africans have no doubt committed crimes that deserved the stringent punishment meted out on them, the group was concerned that the actions suggest being selective against Africans.
“The ICC does not reflect the essence of justice, because it is lopsided and selective. We consider this system as another form of slavery targeted at third world countries and Africa in particular. The invasion of Iraq led by the United States of America, which was supported by countries like United Kingdom, Spain, Poland etc whom are signatories and parties to the ICC treaty are yet to be summoned by ICC,” the statement said.
It further said that in spite of the fact that the war claimed thousands of lives, destroyed homes and displaced millions of people in the guise of searching for weapons of mass destruction, the perpetrators where not accused of committing war crime.
“We want to remind the world that for peace to reign, all persons must be treated with dignity and respect as we are and should be equal before the law,” it added.
“It is against this backdrop that we the coalition of civil society groups of Nigeria call on:
- Nigerian government to expedite the process of quitting the ICC.
- All African countries who are party to the treaty to immediately follow steps already initiated by Burundi, Republic of South Africa and the Gambia.
- African Union and other respected leaders on the continent to initiate the formation of similar judicial system to be manned by reputable Africans.” The statement concluded.