Army replies ICC over war crimes allegation

The Nigerian Army has denied committing war crimes against humanity in its fight against the Boko Haram insurgents as being claimed by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Fatou Bensouda, an ICC prosecutor, in her annual report on preliminary examination activities (2018), said the ICC found reasonable basis to believe that Boko Haram also committed war crimes against humanity.

It said its assessment has shown that security forces in Nigeria have committed war crimes varying from murder, torture, and intentionally attacking the civilian population.

The ICC complained that “other information specifically requested by the Office which was assessed to be potentially relevant to the admissibility assessment has yet to be provided by the Nigerian authorities”.

But reacting to the report on Tuesday, spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman said the report, published by the ICC is not true.

“I just sent a WhatsApp message to one of the Nigerians at The Hague, and honestly, I wish my phone was here, you would have seen his reply,” he told Channels TV.

“I think there is an element of some campaign of calumny and mischief. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in its preliminary report did not say so.

“In fact, what they said is that there were issues of interest in Nigeria, but for them to have come out to indict the Nigerian army, it is not true.”

When asked about the Amnesty International reports stating crimes against humanity, Usman went on to say that Amnesty has maintained a “vanguard against the army without credible evidence”.

The ICC report stating war crimes by the Nigerian army can be found here.