By Uche Mbah
President Muhammadu Buhari, who is seeking re-election in the 2019 general elections, has been dragged to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The case was filed on behalf of unnamed Nigerians by Goran Sluiter, a Professor of International and Criminal Law in the University of Amsterdam.
In an interview with an American Television station, Newsmax TV, monitored in Lagos, Sluiter said that Buhari is suspected to have committed a crime against Humanity.
“In this Issue, I am representing some clients in Nigeria, and we have submitted, last week, a criminal complaint to the International Criminal Court regarding this presidential Candidate’s behavior” he said. According to him, There is “clear and consistent evidence that during the last elections, 2011 this Candidate incited to violence against the supporters of other candidates and this has resulted in 800 persons being killed and 65,000 persons being displaced. Even according to African context, African standards, these are massive crimes and this person should be held accountable for these crimes. My clients are seeking Justice for the victims of 2011, but we also hope it will have a deterrent effect for the upcoming elections in a couple of weeks.”
Sluitter had cited one of the cases where people ran to a police station to take refuge and were murdered even in the home of law enforcement agents.
This is coming on the heels of the face off between the international community and theAll Progressives Congress, APC, led central Government. In recent times, Buhari has been under international pressure over the goings on in the country as the general elections approach. International observers from the European Union, UK and US have indicated their interest in a free and fair elections where the security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, are seen to be non partisan.
Such pressures, however, may have resulted in the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Chairman dropping Amina Zakari, an INEC Commissioner, as the Commissioner in cbarge of logistics at the Collation centre. Mrs Zakari had been appointed to that position under controversial circumstances, with the opposition insisting that there is a clash of interest since Amina enjoys a family relationship with one of the major contenders for the Presidency, Muhammadu Buhari.
The International Community’s position was apparently in response to the complaints of the opposition which claim that facts on ground indicate that organs of government, including the Security may have been compromised.
But the ruling APC government insists that the international Community is meddling in the internal affairs of the country. According to the APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, Nigeria is a sovereign state, not a colony.
On his official website, it is indicated that Sluiter is a Dutch criminal defense lawyer based in Amsterdam, and also a professor in international criminal law at the University of Amsterdam. He has extensive experience in international criminal law having worked as a judge in international crimes cases in the Netherlands and for defense teams before the International Criminal Tribunal. He was involved in the case between the former Yugoslavian leader and the International Criminal Court.