In its recently released Report on Preliminary Examination Activities for 2019, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has accused the Buhari-led Nigerian government of tampering with and destruction of evidence in respect of the heinous Zaria Massacre of December 2015. The report further accused Nigeria of failing to cooperate with the ICC.
The report of the Prosecutor of the ICC on preliminary examinations that was released two days ago, sets out the work of the ICC over the last year looking at countries around the world where crimes may have been committed, to decide whether to open investigations.
Nigeria is listed in the report in the category termed situations under phase 3 or admissibility. Specifically, on the Zaria genocide, the report noted in particular that “during the reporting period, the Office worked on finalizing its assessment on subject-matter jurisdiction with respect to the events which took place in December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna State, involving the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (“IMN”). The Office of The Prosecutor further stated that it “notes with deep concern allegations of ongoing evidence tampering and of the alleged destruction of evidence.”
The OTP further gave a scalding report of the Buhari government’s unwillingness to cooperate with it. “To date, the repeated commitment of the Nigerian authorities to provide the Office with relevant information in this respect has not materialized”, the report concluded. The OTP therefore, warns that if Nigeria persists in its present failure to cooperate, it may, in 2020, “need to come to its own determination.”