The Federal Government has been commended for pushing for the inclusion of corruption as a crime against humanity.
In Netherlands on Thursday, Nigeria called on the International Criminal Court, (ICC) to extend its dragnet to prosecute corrupt officials and ensure they have no safe havens anywhere in the world.
The Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA) in a statement by its Chairman, Mr. ‘Lanre Suraju on Thursday said the renewed commitment of the Nigerian authority to support the International Criminal Court, (ICC), represents a new threshold in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
HEDA whose officials are also attending the conference in Netherlands commended the FG initiative saying it will improve the standing of the country in the leagues of those genuinely committed to fighting graft.
Earlier in Lagos, HEDA with the support of MacArthur Foundation had organized an international conference aimed at supporting the capacity of the ICC to prosecute financial crimes committed by Nigerian officials.
Nigeria loses billions of dollars to corrupt officials yearly most of which end up in tax free Islands, Europe or America.
Speaking at the World Assembly of State Parties on the 20th Anniversary of the Rome Status, the Nigerian Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mallami renewed Nigeria’s commitment to supporting the campaign that International Criminal Court, (ICC) should extend its jurisdiction to list corruption as a crime against humanity.
This means the ICC can indeed prosecute corrupt officials under the Rome Statute anywhere they may be.
Addressing the World Assembly of State Parties in the Hague, the Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, said President Muhamadu Buhari attaches strong importance to the ICC adding that the country will double its support for the ICC to be able to punish trans-border crimes under international law.
He praised the ICC for what it has achieved since it was established decades ago. He said these achievements have to do with the number of high profile convictions and the determination of the ICC to address victims of atrocious crimes worldwide.
Malami said “the fight against insecurity and atrocious crimes is far from being won. Meanwhile, Nigeria calls on UN to have removed impediments which denied international criminal justice for perpetrators of financial crimes.”
He said the tasks before the court are enormous and tasking adding that Nigeria will cooperate with the ICC in meeting the tasks of fighting corruption globally.
He said Nigeria is fully committed to the Rome Statute and its relevant provisions. He said Nigeria is now fully committed to our obligations to the Rome Statute. Trans-border corruption is a crime against humanity saying it is like genocide. “It has to be seen like other crimes against humanity listed in article 5, 6 and 8 of the Rome Statute.”
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is a treaty that established the ICC. It was adopted at a Conference in Rome on July 17, 1998. It became active in 2002 and has seen 123 countries including Nigeria sign in. The Status focuses on four crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crimes of aggression all of which shall not be subject to statute of limitations by state parties. The ICC is empowered to prosecute the crimes if member states are unwilling to do so.