A United Kingdom based Islamic advocacy organisation known as the Islamic Human Rights Commission, IHRC, has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari before the International Criminal Court, ICC, following the killings of about 1,000 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, by the military in December 2015.
The organisation also dragged the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Burutai before ICC while demanding that the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, and the Emir of Zaria, Shehu Idris, be probed for human rights violation and crimes against humanity.
Others the organisation is demanding should be probed include, spokesperson of the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Adeniyi Oyebade, the Commander Nigerian Depot, Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin, Director Military Intelligence, Chief of Defence intelligence, AVM Riku Morgan, AK Ibrahim, Commander 1 Division Garrison, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Col. F.M Babayo, Capt Ben, Adjutant Depot, Nigerian Army; Adeniyi Oyebade, General Officer Commanding, 1 Division Garrison Kaduna; Umar Labdo; Sambo Rigachukun; Bala Lau; Yahaya Jingir and; Kabir Gombe.
IHRC called on the ICC to investigate the December 12 and 14 attacks in Zaria, noting that the action of the army qualifies as crime against humanity.
The organisation said, “ICC prosecutor should open a preliminary examination into the incidents that occurred between the 12th and 14th December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna State”.
“Prosecutor expand(s) its monitoring activities on Nigeria and the army’s involvement in attacks against the IMN that occurred in the period between 2014 and 2015.”
IHRC also demanded the, “ICC Prosecutor to issue a preventive statement saying that he is monitoring the Nigerian crisis and is aware of the commission of crimes and warn the perpetrators about their criminal liability.”
The organisation argued in its report that the Zaria massacre meets the two criteria of admissibility and gravity, which are grounds for ICC prosecutors to probe an alleged crime against humanity.
Noting that Nigerian government has a history of shielding persons indicted for “criminal responsibility for the crimes alleged”, the organisation pointed out that there are no indications from the Federal Government that it was willing to investigate the killings.
IHRC also accused the the Kaduna State Governor of compromising the commission of inquiry his government set up to investigate the Zaria killings by demolishing the properties of the Shi’ite group days after the incident.
The report said, “At the present time, the available information shows some inadequacies or reluctance on the part of the Nigerian authorities to generally address the violence that occurred on 12-13 December 2015,”
“The Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai is insufficiently independent and impartial to be able to hold those responsible to account, nor is there any reasonable prospect of any prosecutions. In his speech, the governor listed a range of grievances against the IMN, which is indicative of bias against the IMN from the start.
“He further proceeded to demolish IMN properties before setting up the commission of the inquiry.
“Both IMN and Amnesty International have expressed concerns that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry is not set up to sufficiently perform a credible inquiry.”