A group, the US Nigeria Law Group, has sent a complaint to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court seeking special investigation into the many atrocities committed on the Nigerian State by the Boko Haram Islamic sect and, particularly, the Fulani herdsmen militia.
In a letter signed on behalf of the group by Emmanuel Ogebe, the group referenced ICC’s announcement in December, following its findings, that Nigeria is now eligible for investigation for crimes against humanity and war crimes on account of activities of the Boko Haram sect.
It, however, expressed concerns that the report omitted the Fulani herdsmen militia, which it says are even more brutal, brazen and barbaric than the Boko Haram and ISWA.
It also accused President Muhammadu Buhari of unwillingness “to prosecute his tribesmen,” saying the impunity and the indifference of his administration to the atrocities make good grounds for the invocation of the ICC’s jurisdiction for failure of domestic courts to address the atrocities.
“Just this week, Fulani militia attacked a camp of their victims who had been internally displaced for years and again slaughtered seven of them in the capital city of Benue State. I had just visited that IDP camp earlier this month. Incidentally the previous day, a similar attack occurred near our orphanage in Plateau State killing two,” Ogebe said.
The letter reads in part: “You have not made a finding as to the current egregious persecution of Christians on the basis of religion ongoing in Nigeria for over a decade now.
“Three years ago this month, Fulani militia massacred a morning mass at St Ignatius Catholic Church killing Fathers Felix Tyolaha and Joseph Gor and 17 worshippers in Benue State. Though their killers videoed themselves in the choir robes they looted playing the church instruments, no one has been brought to justice for this atrocity.
“This week, Boko Haram has similarly attacked Geidam in Yobe State and executed targeted slaughter of Christians according to our sources in the area.
“You have not made a finding on the post-election violence 10 years ago this month in which Gen. Buhari’s political thugs killed over 1000 people destroying 700 churches in just two days in April 2011.”
The group said Nigeria is currently in “a state of aggravated and advanced anarchy” which it said is traceable to complacency and complicity, as well as intent and incompetence of government.
It then urged the ICC prosecutor to correct the “oversight” in her findings before leaving office in a few weeks.