Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer, has requested the International Criminal Court to investigate allegations of crimes against humanity committed against the Nigerian people by some former and serving military as well public officials and private persons who engaged in the criminal diversion of $8 billion earmarked to procure equipment for the armed forces to fight insurgency.
In thd petition, Falana said, “We are a firm of civil rights lawyers based in Lagos, Nigeria. We are the defence counsel for the majority of the members of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Nigeria who were charged with mutiny, cowardly behaviour and sundry offences before the courts-martial instituted by the former military authorities. .
As we shall demonstrate anon, the only “offence” proved against our clients in the military courts was that they had the temerity to demand for weapons to fight the well equipped troops of the Boko Haram sect.”
He asked ICC to:
1. Urgently commence an investigation proprio motu on the allegations of the criminal diversion of the security fund of $2.1 billion and N643 billion earmarked by suspected perpetrators, with a view to determining whether these amount to crimes against humanity within the Court’s jurisdiction. In this respect, I also urge you to invite representatives of the Nigerian government to provide written or oral testimony at the seat of the Court, so that the Prosecutor is able to conclude on the basis of available information whether there is a reasonable basis for an investigation, and to submit a request to the Pre-Trial Chamber for authorization of an investigation.
2. Bring to justice those suspected to bear full responsibility for deliberate under funding of the armed forces through widespread and systematic corruption in Nigeria; and
3. Urge the Nigerian government to fulfil its obligations under the Rome Statute to cooperate with the ICC; including complying with your requests to arrest and surrender suspected perpetrators of the criminal diversion of security fund, testimony, and provide other support to the ICC.