FG Jitters Before ICC Over Zakzaky, Seeks Concessions

The Federal Government has become very jittery over the tremendous progress that has been made by the ICC in the issue of the Zaria massacre and the continued detention without charges of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.

The Buhari government is particularly worried that the International Criminal Court is unrelenting in pursuing the case and seven others against Nigeria.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubabakar Malami (SAN) on Thursday shivered while playing host to the newly elected President of the ICC, Prof. Chile Osuji, at his office in Abuja.

Malami said the ICC had “escalated” eight potential cases against Nigeria from “the initial preliminary examination to preliminary investigation”. It will be recalled that it was reported that the ICC had completed preliminary investigation into the Zaria massacre.

He lamented the stepping up of the investigations against Nigeria as worrisome because according to him, the government had demonstrated its willingness and ability to arrest, investigate and prosecute anyone that committed any offence that fell within the Rome statute of the ICC.

This monumental lie by Malami was however incidentally challenged while he was making it as thousands of members and supporters of the Islamic Movement besieged the Justice ministry calling for the prosecution of those involved in the Zaria massacre.

The government has not in anyway demonstrated any willingness to prosecute any of the culprits in that heinous crime against humanity. It has rather further perpetrated these crimes with the continued detention of Sheikh Zakzaky without charges for upwards of two years against the judgement of a competent court of the land that ruled that his continued detention was unconstitutional as it breaches his fundamental rights.

Additionally, the government at all levels has further persecuted the members of the Islamic Movement and treated them as second class citizens, with no rights to their faith, conscience and beliefs. As a result, a lot more were killed and many more arbitrarily arrested.

This has cut across many more states of the country than the original Zaria massacre.

Clearly, Malami’s assurances to the ICC president that Nigeria being “a country that believes in the operation of the rule of law, fundamental freedom and the need to fight impunity in all ramifications” was far from the truth and an attempt to deceive the ICC president.

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