Groups oppose trial of Nigerian Generals at ICC
A COALITION of 100 lawyers, Civil Society Groups and Nollywood actors under the auspices of “Support Our Patriotic Generals” has discredited the recent report submitted by Amnesty International (AI) to President Muhammadu Buhari seeking the trial of Nigerian Army Generals at the International Criminal Court, The Hague for war crimes, on the ground that the video tapes on which the reports were based were stage-managed, fake and not corroborated by independent sources.
The coalition in a press conference addressed by the former Coordinator Lawyers’ Group Amnesty International, Nigeria and Director of Constitutional Watch, Aham Njoku, said the report lacked credibility as some of the persons the researchers interviewed to compile the reports had political axe to grind with the former government in power at the federal level.
While querying the motive behind the reports, the coalition accused Amnesty International of double- standard and asked President Buhari not to act on the reports since they were biased, unfounded and tainted to embarrass and decimate the Nigerian army and its resource as an organisation.
According to the group: “Potential trial of the patriotic Generals at ICC is against Nigeria’s security interest and would undermine the war against terrorism as the terrorists would become emboldened and our soldiers would become demoralised and ultimately destroy the army.”
Instead of AI sabotaging the anti-terror war in Nigeria, the group said the human rights group should use its investigative skills to help identify the financiers and sponsors of Boko Haram and their sources or arms and ammunitions.
“Till date, despite killing over 15, 000 innocent and defenseless Nigerians in mosques, churches, schools, motor parks and shopping malls, no single Boko Haram member has been reported to the ICC for trial by AI.”
“AI and the prosecutors of the International Criminal Court at The Hague appear set to apply double standards in their proceedings. For example, in the war against terrorism, no American soldier was indicted by AI or was any recommended for prosecution at the ICC for the extra-judicial killing of Osama Bin Laden.”
“In fact, the international community applauded the SEALS that carried out the execution and President Obama was congratulated.”
“Also, no American General has been tried since United States started using drones to kill terrorists with collateral damages, which include the death of several innocent persons nearby”, the group added.
The coalition, which also include constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Wale Ogunade, further called on President Buhari not to support the Western countries to witch-hunt these Generals who acted in the best interest of the Federal Government and people of Nigeria when he was the leader of the opposition party.
They also called on the Secretary General of Amnesty International to withdraw the report immediately and probe the source of the video tapes relied upon to write the report.
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