The International Criminal Court, ICC, says it has received reports of crimes during the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria.
ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, who made this known in a statement on Thursday via the court’s Twitter handle, said the court is monitoring the developments for appropriate action.
Ms Bensouda said, “My office has been closely following the events around the current protests in Nigeria and the reaction of Nigeria’s law enforcement and security agencies,” she said.
“Any loss of life and injury is concerning. We have received information alleging crimes and are keeping a close eye on developments, in case violence escalates and any indications arise that Rome Statute crimes may have been committed.
“I call for calm and restraint.”
Recall that the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, had sent a petition to the ICC calling on the body to “promptly investigate reports that Nigerian authorities, military, and some politicians have used/ and are using thugs, soldiers and security agents to intimidate, harass, attack and kill #EndSARS peaceful protesters in several parts of Nigeria, including Abuja, Lagos, Edo, Osun, Plateau, and Kano states.”
In the petition dated 21 October 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The Nigerian authorities over the years have been unwilling and/or unable to prosecute suspected perpetrators of killing of protesters.
“This in turn has promoted a culture of impunity and emboldened authorities, the military, politicians and their accomplices who continue to commit human rights crimes against protesters.”