Can The ICC Prosecute The Nigerian Military?

October 29, 2020

Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.

Can the ICC prosecute the Nigerian military?

Many Nigerians are still in grief over the Lekki Massacre which took place on October 20, 2020, when protesters were shot at for exercising their constitutional right to peacefully protest. In the wake of this, several stories — and fake news — have infiltrated the media over what happened, even though video evidence showed officers of the Nigerian military opening fire on Nigerians on scene. The question that has occupied the minds of a lot of people is how Nigerians can get justice, and including if the International Criminal Court can prosecute officers and commander of the Nigerian military.

Read: Who Is Shooting At Peaceful Protesters In Lekki?

Read: The Nigerian Military Has A History of Killing Unarmed Civilians

But what sort of crime did the Nigerian military commit, if it actually did? And, can the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecute key officers of the Nigerian military, including their commanders? 

1. What Is The International Criminal Court?

In June 1998, representatives from 148 countries gathered in Rome, Italy to agree on how to establish an “International Criminal Court”.

After five weeks of discussions, 120 countries voted for the creation of an International Criminal Court under the “Rome Statute”.

In 2002, after the agreement was signed by 60 countries into their national laws, the ICC became the first and only international court with the capacity to prosecute a person with the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

2. How Does The International Criminal Court Work?

*Green – Party to the ICC

*Orange – Didn’t sign

*Yellow – Signed (but never passed the ICC statute into law)

The ICC works complementary to national courts. That is, it cannot prosecute a crime except a country’s courts are unwilling or cannot prosecute the crime.

Also, the International Criminal Court cannot prosecute every criminal case in every part of the world.

The three important things the ICC considers before prosecuting a case include: 

  1. Subject-matter jurisdiction: Is the crime a genocide, a crime against humanity, a war crime or a crime of aggression?
  1. Territorial or personal jurisdiction: Was the crime committed in a country that has agreed to the ICC’s rules or by a person who is a citizen of a country that has agreed to the ICC’s rules.
  1. Temporal jurisdiction: The ICC officially began operation in June 2002. So it does not have the capacity to prosecute international crimes before July 2002.

3. Can the International Criminal Court Prosecute The Officers of The Nigerian Military?

Nigeria is a party to the ICC’s rules. Nigeria signed the Rome Statute into our national law on the 27th of September 2001, and it became binding on Nigeria from 1st July, 2002.

So, Nigeria is bound by the Rome Statute, and the ICC has “territorial jurisdiction” to prosecute international crimes committed in Nigeria or by Nigerians.

4. What Is The Process?

The ICC prosecutes individuals and not groups or countries, and no one has immunity or is exempted from the ICC’s prosecution, even if they are currently holding a high executive position.

To begin an investigation, anyone who is from a country that is a member of the ICC can request the office of the prosecutor to carry out an investigation on a particular issue. The prosecutor can also begin investigations on their own, if they believe that a crime should be investigated.

Already, Nigerian groups like the Socio-economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have sent petitions to the ICC about killings of several people during the #EndSARS protests in Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Osun, Plateau and other states in Nigeria.

Over the years, the ICC has publicly prosecuted 44 people. It has issued arrest warrants for 36 people and summoned 8 others. 6 people are in the court’s detention. Former Sudanese President, Omar Al-Bashir, was also prosecuted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how to unfuck yourself when the Nigerian government moves mad. Check back every weekday by 10am for more Zikoko Citizen explainers.


Zikoko Donation Banner

Help Zikoko keep making the content you love

More than ever, people are turning to Zikoko for stories that matter and content they love. But still, we, like many media organisations, are feeling the financial heat of these times. If you find us valuable, please make a contribution to help keep Zikoko zikoko-ing.

Thank you for your support.

We are also cool with Crypto.

Donation Close
Zikoko Logo

Complete Your Commitment

Donation confirm

Your Contribution is confirmed! Amount

Doyin Olagunju

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

September 17, 2020

Recently, I had an interesting money situation where a friend defaulted on a loan. From the lies to the silence, I felt somehow. Especially because of the lies and fake anger. I assumed that a friend wouldn’t treat me like that. Motivated by my experience, I went asking people for their own money experience. Here’s […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

November 25, 2020

If you’re a Nigerian woman living abroad, chances are that you’ve run into one or more of these types of Nigerian men. 1) Mr. qualifications Before you say anything, they’ll remind you about all their degrees – MBA, PHD, WAP, MD. 2) Green card gang In your first conversation, they want to know your status […]

November 25, 2020

2:49 a.m.  I wake up and I know instantly. I’m sick. Okay, maybe “sick” is a tad dramatic. I have phlegm and it won’t stop until I use some medication. It happens to me every year during harmattan and it’s usually very frustrating. Ugh, now I will be spitting all day. Iyama.  6:36 a.m.  All […]

November 25, 2020

Traditionally, marriage is designed to be a life-long commitment between two people. Sometimes, people go against the norm and seek emotional and sexual solace with people other than their spouses. I spoke to eight married men about cheating on their wives, why they do it and what the future of their marriages look like. Ben […]

Recommended Quizzes

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out: 11 Quizzes For The […]

More from Citizen

UK Sanctions Nigeria
November 24, 2020

Yesterday, November 24th 2020, the UK parliament, at the Westminister Hall debated e-petition 554150, relating to Nigeria and the sanctions regime. The debate was led by Theresa Villiers MP, and it suggested sanctions for members of the Nigerian Government and police officers who have been involved in human rights abuses. The parliamentary debate has generated […]

Nigeria recession
November 23, 2020

Recession, palliative, ad-hoc committee, ultra-modern, bistro — you can’t claim to be a Nigerian if you’ve never heard these words. They are so popular, we wrote about them. Speaking of recession, on Saturday, November 22nd, 2020, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reported that Nigeria’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) reduced by 3.62% from September to October […]

November 19, 2020

The Nigerian police is ranked as one of the worst in the world, and the Nigerian society is notable for widespread human rights abuses. In your house or outside it, you’re always a moment away from having your rights abused by the police in Nigeria. After the #EndSARS protests, the Nigerian police have ramped up […]

CNN Lekki
November 18, 2020

Some Nigerians were still rolling in their bed this morning, trying to pick up pieces of their lives after the Lekki Massacre, when CNN Africa sent shockwaves through Nigeria’s part of the Internet.  In a brilliant collation of all the videos that have trended over the #LekkiMassacre, mixed with excellent investigative reportage that made use […]

Eromosele Adene
November 17, 2020

If you don’t know about Eromosle “Eromz” Adene’s case, well you should. The arrest of the 27-year old musician and philanthropist has generated a lot of controversy across social media, with opinions and counter opinions on how horrible the Nigerian society is, and why the Nigerian government cannot keep abusing human rights while getting away […]

Local government in Nigeria
November 16, 2020

A local government is an important part of governance in Nigeria. Local governments supplement the work of the federal government and the 36 state governments by administering a particular area. However, many Nigerians always complain about the federal government and state governments while ignoring that there is also a local government. In fact, if many […]

Nigerian police can arrest you
November 15, 2020

“Park! You’re guilty of reckless carriage of a heavy load condensed as two trunks right in between your back and your legs, something like an ukwu!” Okay, the Nigerian police shouldn’t arrest you for that. But these are 5 things that can actually land you in court: 1. Witchcraft E shock you? You didn’t know […]

Access Bank
November 14, 2020

Access bank is no stranger to court cases relating to “Post No Debit” (PND) orders, and we will explain so in this article. On November 4, 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) obtained an order from a Federal High Court in Abuja that empowered it to freeze the bank accounts of 20 individuals and […]

November 12, 2020

Lately, Nigerian courts seem to be issuing a lot of ex parte orders. On November 6, the Central Bank of Nigeria obtained an ex parte court order freezing the accounts of 20 individuals and public affairs companies linked to the #EndSARS protests. The CBN was able to freeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS campaigners after […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X