Federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General Abubakar Malami The Federal Government has reaffirmed its commitment to end impunity and facilitate recourse to victim justice, as well as to ensure punishment for perpetrators.
Abubakar Malami, Federation Attorney General and Minister of Justice, said this on Monday in a statement in the Ministry of Justice by Dr. Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant to the Office of Media and Public Relations.
At the opening of the five-day 18th meeting of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute, Malami spoke at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
He said Nigeria was also committed under the ICC’s Rome Statute to criminalizing hunger as a weapon of war.
“The idea of criminalisation of starvation was mooted by Switzerland. We in Nigeria therefore, call on all state parties to jointly support the initiative.’’
He, however, decried the numerous challenges the International Criminal Court (ICC), had been facing.
“The challenges include increasing attacks against it and its officials, possibilities of further withdrawals from the Rome Statute, weakening of the Rome Statute system and its support across the globe.
Other challenges, he said, included a reduction in multilateral engagement in the face of rising tides of hostility, discrimination, and worldwide repression.
Malami said Nigeria wanted to see the ICC overcome all its current challenges and become a global, independent and impartial court, capable of riding the world of impunity, the type that characterized the First and Second World Wars.
“Nigeria is also determined to work together with state parties to oppose efforts to undermine the works of the Court, its independence and impartiality.
“In particular Nigeria strongly condemns threats against the ICC in some parts of the world, its officials, and those cooperating with the Court.
“We consider such attacks as calculated attempts to undermine and cripple the fight against impunity and the laying of a solid foundation for a peaceful and just world, not only for the present generation but also for the unborn ones.’’
He put forward Nigeria’s call for all the world’s civilized nations to rise to this critical challenge “if we have to safeguard from extermination the present and future generations.
“Nigeria is committed to recognising the Rome Statute system of justice as key in advancing accountability at the international and national levels, for sexual and gender-based violence and violence against children as grave crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide,’’
Malami told the gathering that, through the actions of the Nigerian Security Forces and the assistance of nearby neighbors and other friendly states, the Boko Haram elements had been substantially decimated.
“So, normalcy is slowly returning, and Nigeria is coming out of the forest and will eventually come out of the numerous cases brought against her at the ICC.
“Nigeria is not a jungle, it is a country that loves peace and justice and aspires to build and create a favorable environment for international and other investments, generate jobs and create opportunities for the wealthy population.
“Impunity, therefore, being a critical element that could inhibit the fruition of these lofty ideas, has no position and will never be accepted in all facets of our criminal justice system,” the minister said.