BW Global Group, LLC, (BWGG) a human rights and government accountability advocacy firm in Washington, D.C., today, filed a formal communication with the Office of the Prosecutor (“OTP”) of the International Criminal Court (“ICC”). This filing was submitted pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute – of which the Nigerian Government is a signatory. The filing specifically addresses the atrocities committed by governmental forces and/or affiliated paramilitary forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (“IPOB”) in Southeast Nigeria. “The body of evidence against Nigeria and its systematic and repressive campaign against the IPOB in southern Nigeria has for too long been ignored by the international community. Today, we are petitioning the International Criminal Court to investigate the criminal acts of the Nigerian government – many of which have been well-documented by leading human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, leading news publications worldwide, and policy groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations,” asserted Alan White, BWGG partner and Petitioner.
Amnesty International has documented a catalogue of human rights violations that the Nigerian government has taken against the IPOB. These crimes under international law include: mass arrests, excessive and unlawful force, and torture. The BWGG petition to the ICC expands the Nigerian government’s crimes to also include international rendition of the regime’s political opponents. (Editor’s Note: The IPOB Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu – a British National – was caught, held and tortured in Kenya for 9 days and was unlawfully transported to Nigeria by its Security Agents (DSS) (June 19-29, 2021) in an unlawful rendition operation. Kanu was denied legal counsel for weeks and Kanu has yet to appear in Nigerian court.)
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Africa Subcommittee stated, “…Genocide is happening right before our eyes. The United States and the international community must do to more to mitigate the violence because the dire situation on the ground warrants it and because the people of Nigeria deserve to live in peace and freedom with their fundamental human rights guaranteed.” In a related Congressional statement, Mr. Smith continued, “President Buhari has done little to staunch … crimes against humanity.”
Dr. White noted that BWGG will advocate within the ICC for swift action, calling the ICC the judicial body of last resort – noting that the Nigeran government cannot police its own human rights responsibilities, and this paves the way for the ICC to assume responsibility for the well-being of the Biafran people.