Nigeria’s House of Representatives’ Committee on Treaties, Protocols, and Agreement on Wednesday in Abuja began a public hearing on a “bill for an act to provide for enforcement and punishment of crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and for other related offences”.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Yakub Abiodun Balogun, explained that the bill was in consonance with section 12(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.
He said that there was a need for the country to domesticate international conventions and treaties through legislation of the National Assembly in order to give effect to those laws.
According to him, certain provisions of the Rome Statute of international court which Nigeria was signatory to in 2001 have not been implemented due to the lack of its domestication as required by the Constitution.
“As you are aware, Nigeria signed a treaty to domesticate International Criminal Court on enforcement and punishment of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.
“Unfortunately, these laws are unimplementable since 2004 when it takes effect,” Abiodun added.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Coalition of the International Criminal Court (NCICC), a non-governmental organisation, in their paper presentation, posited that the bill would fight impunity and strengthen the criminal justice system in Nigeria.
The body urged the National Assembly to pass the bill into law as genocide cases were becoming rampant in the country.
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, and the Human Rights Institute of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, were present at the public hearing.