Here’s what you need to know about the charges against Buhari, the Emir of Kano and El-Rufai at the ICC
President Muhammadu Buhari, Nasir El-Rufai (the Kaduna State governor), Tukur Buratai (the chief of army staff) and many others have been charged to the International Criminal Court (ICC) by a UK-based Muslim advocacy group known as The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC).
The IHRC is allegedly calling on the ICC to probe the massacre on members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (who are popularly known as the Shi’ites), which occurred on December 12-14, 2015. In a report by the IHRC, the organization noted that the attacks of the Nigerian army on the Shi’ites (led by Ibrahim El-Zakzaky) in Zaria, Kaduna State, could qualify as crime against humanity.
President Buhari’s charges that were highlighted in the report is what was presumed as the indifferent stance by the Federal Government which was further portrayed by its unwillingness to investigating the killings. “At the present time, the available information shows some inadequacies or reluctance on the part of the Nigerian authorities to generally address the violence that occurred on 12-13 December 2015,” the report stated.
On El-Rufai’s part, he was accused of being partial in his investigation by allegedly destroying property which belongs to the Shi’ites group just a couple of days after the incidence. The army which was led by Tukur Buratai was accused of illegitimate violence and a high degree of brutality, mutilation, unpermitted excavation of mass graves and other extrajudicial crimes.
What if they are found guilty?
On December 12-14, 2015, nearly 1,000 civilians lost their lives during the clash between the Nigerian Army and the Shi’ites group and this massacre has evoked reactions from other countries around the world (such as Iran and India). It may not look good for all the parties listed by the ISHR considering the shoddiness with which such a grievous incidence was handled.
Zakzaky, who was reportedly shot four times, was also initially denied treatment. Even after he was flown out of the country for treatment, several human rights organizations alleged that the government only had him treated out of compulsion and not sympathy. This is asides the government’s inaction towards conducting a thorough investigation into the unfortunate incident that occurred last year. All of these could constitute to crimes against humanity which attracts indictment by the ICC.