….petitions USA, Canada, Australia, UK, EU, France, Germany, others
From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
A Nigeria’s leading human rights, rule of law and democracy research and investigative Organization, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), called for international criminal enquiries and indictments over alleged human rights abuses, killings, abductions of citizens and destruction of property between 2021 and 2023 in Imo state and South-East geopolitical zone.
The group said that the criminal enquiries was for the purpose of unmasking the identities of those that killed, abducted, disappeared, arbitrarily arrested/detained and tortured; those that aided, abetted and omitted to act to stop the killings, abductions, disappearances and torture; those that were killed, abducted, tortured and disappeared in Imo state.
The Chairman of Intersociety Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi in a statement called on Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Hon Karim A.A. Khan (UK), President of ICC, Judge Piotr Hofmanski (Poland), First Vice-President of ICC, Judge Luz Del Carmen Ibanez Carranza and Second Vice-President of ICC, Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua to intervene in Nigeria’s Imo State and its South-East Region.
“Apart from criminal enquiries, indictments and prosecutions being demanded, the leading perpetrators shall be placed on visa bans and barred from all forms of international career, professional and private engagements especially in USA, Canada, Australia, UK, EU, France, Germany, and South-East Asia and so on; for their involvement in grisly and egregious rights abuses and violations in Imo State in particular and the South-East in general.
“Our calling on the ICC to intervene is grounded in Nigeria being signatory to the ICC Statute (signed and ratified in Sept 2001) and the country’s loss of its international right and obligation to investigate, prosecute and judicially convict the perpetrators in the Imo mass murders, civilian house burnings and other internationally prohibited acts or conducts; in line with the International Law’s Principles of Complementarity and Zero Impunity.
“Nigeria’s Intersociety is also calling on the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland and New York, USA to intervene by launching joint or separate investigations through the UNHCR’s Special Rapporteurs generally charged with responsibilities of holding enquiries into grisly and egregious human rights abuses and violations, such as in the case of Imo State. The current United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is Mr. Volker Turk of Austria.
“The UN Rights Special Rapporteurs being called upon are the Special Rapporteur on Summary, Arbitrary and Extrajudicial Executions or Killings, the Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Inhuman or Degrading Treatments or Punishments, the Special Rapporteur on Environment and Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on UN Committee on Involuntary or Enforced Disappearances and the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing (anti domicide). ‘Domicide’ is the massive and arbitrary destruction of civilian houses or homes in a situation of turbulent democracy or violent conflict. The International Law outlaws all forms of arbitrary housing destruction.
“Intersociety is also drawing the attention of the International Secretariat of the Amnesty International headed by Dr Agnes Callamard (respected former UN Special Rapporteur on Summary, Arbitrary and Extrajudicial Killings or Executions) as well as the Executive Director of the US respected Human Rights Watch, Mr. Kenneth Roth, etc; calling on them to use their good offices to cause their respected and respective global Rights Organizations to focus their advocacy attentions on Imo and South-East.
“Called upon to take this research and investigative report of ours to next critical level are other apostles and disciples of justice including human rights and democracy leaders within and beyond Imo State and the South-East. Not exempted are the unbiased political actors and other critical stakeholders in Imo State and the South-East.
“The Imo mass murders, civilian house burnings and other internationally prohibited acts have been perpetrated with rapacious impunity and recklessness; to the extent that till date, not even a single armed state actor or armed non state actor perpetrator; or a public official or office holder aider and abettor has been brought to accountability including being investigated, tried, convicted and jailed. The sum-total of the above has institutionalized impunity and ‘repeat-offenses’ in Imo State and the South-East” Umuagbalasi stated.