SERAP calls on the ICC to look into the pre-election violence
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been petitioned by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to open an inquiry into the violence that occurred in Nigeria before the elections.
The body claims that if the issue is not resolved, it might result in post-election hostility.
The petition was sent to Karim Khan, the prosecutor, on February 11. (QC).
The organization encouraged the ICC official to send a legal team to Nigeria right now in order to support free and fair elections there and gather evidence of any election-related violence that may have occurred before to, during, or after the general elections.
Following reports of clashes in a number of states, including Lagos, Rivers, and Kaduna, the request was made. In the federation as a whole, there were almost 4,000 violent assault cases and 11,000 deaths recorded between January 1, 2022, and February 3, 2023.
“These charges depict the gravest election-related crimes in various states ahead of the general elections,” SERAP said in the appeal submitted by deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.
We think that starting a probe into the situation in Nigeria would be in the interest of justice based on these examples, ones that are comparable to them, and tendencies of electoral violence.
It asked Khan to track down the people who are most likely to have encouraged or helped to facilitate the crimes and secure their conviction.
The organization claims that the attacks are not isolated occurrences but rather represent a result of an increase in election-related violence, making them crimes against humanity.
According to SERAP, seeking permission from the ICC Chamber to launch an investigation into election-related violence that might occur after the general elections is in line with Article 53(1)(a) of the Rome Statute, which permits looking into crimes that have already occurred or are currently being committed.
“The proposed probe is neither politically driven nor a pointless exercise. The Nigerian authorities very seldom look into cases of election-related violence. They actually cannot or will not conduct the inquiry or bring charges.