Statement by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, ahead of elections in Nigeria: “I reiterate my call to refrain from violence”
Following my statement of the 2nd of February 2015, and my Office's subsequent visit to Nigeria from the 3rd to the 5th of February, I reiterate my previous message.
At a time when abhorrent levels of violence already plague parts of the country, I recall that the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court'") has jurisdiction over Rome Statute crimes committed on the territory of Nigeria. Any person who incites or engages in acts of violence in the context of the upcoming elections or otherwise – including by ordering, inciting, encouraging or contributing to the commission of crimes that fall within ICC's jurisdiction – is liable to prosecution; either by Nigerian Courts or by the ICC.
No one should doubt my Office's resolve to prosecute individuals responsible for the commission of ICC crimes, whenever necessary.
Violence is not a solution. The conduct and outcome of elections in Nigeria, free from violence, will not only prevent further instability in the country, but will also send a clear message that electoral competition does not have to result in violence and crimes that shock the conscience of humanity.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial investigations and prosecution of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Office of the Prosecutor has opened investigations in: Uganda; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; Central African Republic; Kenya; Libya; Côte d'Ivoire and Mali. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Iraq, Nigeria, Ukraine and Palestine.