Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai representing Ndokwa West/Ukwuani/Ndokwa East federal constituency of Delta State, has stated that the time has come for those perpetrating mass killings in Nigeria to be prosecuted under the International Criminal Court, ICC, laws within the jurisdictions of Nigeria.
In an interview with dailypost in Abuja on a bill entitled: “domesticating the Roman Statute of the International Criminal Court”, an international anti-genocide convention which Nigeria was signatory in 2001, the lawmaker explained that the bill would provide legal framework for sanctions of perpetrators of mass killings in Nigeria.
Explaining further, he said that Nigeria has peculiar cases of mass killings through the use of state apparatus, noting that if the bill was passed into into law, those behind such killings will no longer be let off the hook.
Ossai said, ”One of the benefits of domesticating Roman Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is to provide legal framework for sanctions of perpetrators of mass killings in Nigeria.
“This law is to make sure that even if you are using state apparatus to perpetuate crimes, you cannot go Scot free.
“Occasionally, you see mass killings in our system. Somebody who midwifed killings would be brought to justice under this law. ”
Reacting to reasons it took almost two decades to key into ICC law, Ossai explained that it required understanding of what the ICC law was all about, adding that the 8th National Assembly has seen the need for the prosecution of war crimes on Nigeria soil, hence the coming up of a bill to that effect.
He was optimistic that the bill would scale third reading with experts having made inputs through public hearings.
The lawmaker added that trial of international crimes in Nigeria will ensure synergy between the country and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
According to him, victims of war crimes would have palliatives through a special trust fund, saying that the National Assembly will oversight the trust fund as part of its responsibility if the bill is passed into law.