The Dutch International Human Rights Lawyer representing the Indigenous People of Biafra at the International Criminal Court in the Hague – Professor Goran Sluiter has warned of the tragic consequences should Nigerian government attempt influencing the proceedings and outcome of the recent investigations launched by International Criminal Court in Nigeria.
Two days ago, a delegation from the office of Madame Fatou Bensouda, the Chief Prosecutor at ICC arrived in Abuja in connection with eight cases of Human Rights abuses that have been filed against Nigeria which included the one filed by Professor Goran Sluitter earlier in January regarding the serious abuse and violation of Human Rights of Biafrans which has resulted in several deaths since the inception of Buhari as President of Nigeria.
In a telephone interview he granted to newsmen, Prof. Goran also warned of the negative effects it will have on the integrity of ICC should they allow themselves to be manipulated.
“It would be very stupid of Nigerian government to attempt influencing the outcome of the investigation to their favour.”
“It will also be an affront to the integrity of ICC if the Prosecutor gives room to be manipulated, but I don’t think such a thing will be possible.”- the renowned Human Rights lawyer stated while answering questions fielded to him concerning the integrity of the ICC with regards to possible influence from its member nation- Nigeria.
Professor Goran also noted that although the complaints and evidences he filed for Biafrans at ICC did not exceed the period as of January 2016, more recorded Rights abuses have been executed against Biafrans from that period till date.
“Several other Human Rights abuses have been perpetrated against the Biafrans from January till date.”
“The initial filed complaints seem to have no influence on the Nigerian government as they have continued excessive use of force and abuse against Biafrans till date. We shall be filing a new complaint at ICC relating to the events recorded from February.” he stated.
On the issue of self defence recently activated by Biafrans, he stated that although he is not a political scientist, he will still advice Biafrans from a legal point of view to remain peaceful in the application of their right to self defence-
“It is necessary that Biafrans remain peaceful as violence would provide reasons for Nigerian government to use excessive force against them and also influence negatively the investigations being conducted by the ICC.”
On the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, Prof. Goran Slutter expressed dismay at the judicial process of Nigeria and noted the importance of taking the case to Higher International Courts such as the one filed at the ECOWAS court.
“I’m closely monitoring the trial of Kanu as well providing some legal assistance. As it seems now, all national legal procedures have been exhausted in the case. It is therefore imperative to take the case to higher international courts for the sake of justice.”-he stated.
Finally he hinted at the importance of evidences which would help get justice for Biafrans at the ICC through their investigations. He noted that although Biafrans have provided reliable evidences for the abuse and violent suppression being melted out on them by Nigerian government, there is also need for more video and pictorial recording of any future occurrence.