ICC Concludes Preliminary Investigation into Shiites Massacre, Continues Probe of IPOB Killings
The International Criminal Court is moving gradually towards prosecution of Nigerian officials involved in the December 2015 massacre of members of Islamic Movements of Nigeria.
The office of the prosecutor at the war crimes tribunal, which reached its preliminary conclusion into the killings in December 2017, submitted its findings to the Federal Government and demanded explanations about the incident.
The ICC said the attack on IMN members, which was carried out by the Nigerian Army and condemned by human rights voices across the world, violated international statutes on human rights.
Also advancing at the ICC is its investigation into the gruesome rights abuses and killings of members of separatist Independent People of Biafra, IPOB.
The group has come under repeated assault by the Nigerian security agencies since October 2015 when its leader Nnamdi Kanu was arrested by the State Security Service in Lagos.
Mr. Kanu was later moved to Abuja where he had been standing trial until September 2017 when he disappeared following a military raid on his country home in Umuahia.
The ICC has submitted its preliminary findings on the Shiites massacre to Attorney-General Abubakar Malami.
The ICC prosecutors said they relied on the different channels of information, including the findings of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government.
The panel had found several Nigerian Army officers culpable in the killings and recommended them for prosecution, including Niyi Oyebade, a major-general who was the Grand Officer Commanding Nigerian Army 1 Division at the time.
The IMN said it lost more than a thousand members in the attack that took place between December 12 and 14 at its headquarters in Zaria.
A representative of the Kaduna State Government told the commission of inquiry that 347 bodies were handed over by the army for a secret mass burial.
But despite the evidence, the army claimed it killed only seven Shiites who blocked a public road and attempted to assassinate its chief, Tukur Buratai, a lieutenant general.