The International Criminal Court, ICC, has received the petition against the Nigerian First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan by the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organization, APCPCO and has said it would investigate the allegations and possibly prosecute the First Lady, if found guilty.
It would be recalled that the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) had made a formal complaint against Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, regarding a statement she made in Calabar, Cross River State last week, where she called on PDP supporters to “stone” anyone who came to the state asking for change.
A letter of complaint was signed by Rivers State Governor and Director General of APCPCO, Rotimi Amaechi, and was dispatched to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police (IG) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), among others.
According to the Vanguard, The Cable sought confirmation from the Office of The Prosecutor in the ICC over the issue and it said:
“With regards to your enquiry, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court can confirm receipt of the communication referred to since the sender of the communication has made this fact public in the media. The Office will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as it does with all such communications.”
According to Fatou Bensouda, who is a prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, anyone who instigates violence during or after elections has violated the law and could be sanctioned by the ICC.
“Following my statement of February 2, and my Office’s subsequent visit to Nigeria from of February 3 to 5, 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.” he said.