Labour Party, Rhodes-Vivour drag Tinubu, Buhari, Sanwo-Olu to ICC over alleged Crimes against humanity

By Kunle Demurin

A coalition of lawyers acting for the the Labour Party, LP Gubernatorial candidate in Lagos, Chinedu Vivour Rhodes have written to the International Criminal Court,ICC calling for the prosecution of President Mohammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress, APC Presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and several APC leaders for alleged crimes against humanity.

The lawyers have submitted the petition calling for the Nigerian leaders to be prosecuted for inciting genocide during the last elections

The group listed names of people said to have been attacked or killed during the elections.

In his reaction, Mr Sunday Akinnuoye of the Oodua Nationalist Coalition, ONAC said he was surprised by the petition adding that there were more violence and killings in South East Nigeria during the elections than any other part of the country.

“It appears the petitioners are members of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra. Their candidates have lost and they want to plunge the country into turmoil to be able to realise Biafra” he told Irohinoodua. He blamed the APC leadership for “going to sleep after the election.”

Meanwhile, in the petition, the Labour Party candidate who lost the Gubernatorial election accused the APC and other notable Nigerians for “organized crimes against humanity”

The petitioners are acting under a group of lawyers named “National Lawyers Coalition for Peter Obi” led by Austin Okeke

They want the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, The Netherlands to commit the Nigerian leaders to prison for what they called “organized crimes against humanity”.

The petition signed by Austin Okeke addressed to the Office of the Prosecutor, ICC, to the attention of Mr. Karim A. A. Khan QC, the Prosecutor of the Court, was made available to Irohinoodua. It was submitted on March 30.

In a chat with our correspondent, Secretary General, Alliance for Yoruba Democratic Movements, AYDM Mr Popoola Ajayi said the petitioners have declared a “war on Nigeria” by instigating hate and avarice against Nigeria as a sovereign state.

“These are people fronting for extremist groups who are trying to cover up their crimes. So many Yoruba people were prevented from voting in Lagos, attacked and even killed during the Presidential election by these people. What they are doing is rushing to ICC to cover up their heinous crimes.'”

He said while the group was anxious to rush to ICC, they are silent on the cold blooded murder, mutilation of human bodies and savage, cold blooded murder being committed for more than five years “by their armed group, IPOB” already declared and the 10th deadliest terrorist group in the world.

Ajayi said the APC leadership are “complacent and naive by failing to work with civil society groups to defend their mandate freely won saying that they have allowed a “criminal group and ethnic fundamentalists to dictated the narratives of the February and March elections locally and internationally.”

However, the petitioners led by one Austin Okeke based in the South Africa claimed to be acting on behalf of the Labour Party Gubernatorial and Deputy Gubernatorial Candidate in Lagos State, Chinedu Rhodes-Vivour and his Deputy Governorship candidate, Princess Abiodun Oyefusi, and others respectively.

Other listed respondents are the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police; Chief of Military Intelligence; Deputy Inspector of General of Police; Commissioner of Police, Lagos State and Mr Musiliu Akinsanya (also known as MC Oluomo).

Others are Mr Femi Fani Kayode, Bayo Onanuga, Mr. Sam Omatseye – a journalist, Otunba Biodun Ajiboye, Reno Omokri, Dele Alake, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, and a traditional ruler; the Baale of Igbara Jakande area in Eti-osa Local government area of Lagos State.

Titled “Complaint and a request for the initiation of an investigation into crimes against humanity in Nigeria pursuant to Articles 13(c), 15 & 53 of the Rome Statute, on the basis of information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court“ addressed to the Prosecutor stated that they are acting for Rhodes-Vivour – The Labour Party Gubernatorial Candidate in Lagos State, Nigeria;
Princess Abiodun Oyefusi – The Labour Party Deputy Gubernatorial Candidate in Lagos State,
Mr Ebere Chinedu – Labour Party member in Lagos State, Nigeria;
Mr Chukwudi – Lagos State, Nigeria;
Mr Austin Iruobe Asuerimen – Labour Party, Lagos State;
Mr Henry Ogheneovo Afiowor – Labour Party, Lagos State;
Dr Gladys C Nwankwo – Labour Party, Lagos State
Ms Chidinma – Labour Party, Lagos State and others.

It accused them to have jointly and severally committed genocide and crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

“These persons and officials of the state of Nigeria are the subjects of the request for investigations and criminal charges and prosecution:

(a) Muhammadu Buhari – the President of Nigeria; and a member of All Progressive Congress “APC” the current political party in government;

(b) Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu – the Governor of Lagos State, Nigeria; “APC”

(c) Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a Presidential Candidate of the All Progressive Congress “APC” (and whose full and further particulars are unknown)

(d) The Leaders of All Progressive Congress “APC – a political Party;

(e) The Inspector General of the Nigeria Police;

(f) Chief of Military Intelligence;

(g) Deputy Inspector of General of Police;

(h) The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State;

(i) Mr Musiliu Akinsanya (also known as MC Oluomo) – the chief thug of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and a member of APC

(j) Mr Femi Fani Kayode – a member of the APC

(k) Mr Bayo Onanuga – a member of APC

(l) Mr Sam Omatseye – a journalist

(m) Otunba Biodun Ajiboye – a member of the APC

(n) Mr Reno Omokri

(o) Mr Dele Alake – a member of APC

(p) Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, and APC member

(q) Traditional ruler; the Baale of Igbara Jakande area in Eti-osa Local government area of Lagos State

The lawyers said the mentioned Respondents have jointly and collectively incited genocide and tribal conflicts in Nigeria during and around the 2023 general elections in Lagos State, Nigeria; and which incitement has resulted in deaths, grievous bodily harm and injuries, destruction of lives and properties.

“We have compiled and are compiling the following documents for submission:

(a) a detailed complaint with specific particularity including online links to video, photos, and publications to support the allegations; and,

(b) a Schedule of Links which are, material evidence, reports and investigations by Human Rights Bodies and Non-Governmental Organizations “NGOs” for ease of reference.

(c) Nigeria is a signatory to the Rome Statute and it deposited at the UN its instrument of ratification of the Rome Statute, thus becoming one of the first 60 State parties which contributed to the entry into force of the Rome Statute on 1st July 2012.

(d) In light of the gravity of the situation in Nigeria, in particular a history of continued repression including attacks on independent media, arrests and torture of opposition leaders and supporters, and a failure to prosecute those responsible for incitement of violence and extra-judicial killings, we strongly urge the Office of the Prosecutor to immediately use its power under Article 15 of the Rome Statute to initiate a preliminary investigation on “the basis of information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court” (Article 15(1)).

(e) A number of non-governmental organizations have conducted preliminary investigations and prepared reports that strongly suggest that crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have been and are being committed. Credible information from “states’ organs of the United Nations, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations and other reliable sources,” including eyewitness accounts (Article 15(2)), is readily and widely available. The “seriousness of the information” available is beyond doubt, which is why this complaint is aimed to call for accountability and justice. The reports are as detailed hereunder.

It said the crime of apartheid (inhumane acts committed in the context of an institutional regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another racial group, with the intent to maintain that regime).

It claimed that there have been several incitements to ethnic violence, extra judicial killings, torture, physical assaults, abductions and gross abuse of human rights in Nigeria which include but are not limited to:

The petitioners said few days before the election day, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu while addressing his supporters during a town hall meeting “ordered his party members and his thugs to violently grab, snatch and run away with ballot boxes during elections; the plan was to denied Peter Obi and other Labour Party candidates their popular mandate. It might be argued that this conduct does not fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC, it is however evidence that the said conduct resulted in several casualties and fatalities to individuals. Herewith video evidence of Tinubu’s infamous address”

The group listed attacks on Onyeka Abali, Attacks on Emmanuel Adogbeji, Emmanuel Adogbeji Oberhiri, Henry Ogheneovo Afiowor, Henry Ogheneovo Afiowor in Ikorodu, Ms Chidinma, Ms Chidinma at Oshodi, Dr Gladys Nwankwo

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