A civil society group, the Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC), has urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to engage President Muhammadu Buhari on the continued killings in the country, particularly in the North-central and North-east part of Nigeria.

Buhari is currently in The Hague for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute.

The Rome Statute, which is the founding treaty of the ICC vested the court with the power to exercise jurisdiction over international crimes including: genocides, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression.

The coalition, in a statement signed by its Chair and Vice Chair, Edmund Obiagwu and Abiola Akiode-Afolabi, respectively, also urged Nigeria to domesticate the Rome Statute into its national legislation having ratified it in 2011.

“As President Buhari attends the event of the Rome Statute at 20, we urge the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to engage the president on the continued killings in the North-central and North-east region and the non-accountability on the part of the state security.

“Nigeria though a state party of the International Criminal Court has since the submission of its instrument of ratification on the 27th September 2001 failed to domesticate the Rome Statute into its national legislation in accordance with the provision of section 12 of the 1999 Constitution,” the statement said.

The NCICC, in the statement however, urged countries to support the ICC by domesticating and implementing the Rome Statute’s provision of complementarity in their national legislation and prosecute international crimes committed within their territory.

It lamented that despite Nigeria being listed as a preliminary examination country due to the armed conflict between Boko Haram and Nigerian security agencies and different crimes committed in the Niger Delta region, the country continues to face more violations of human right and crimes violating international law.

The coalition therefore called on the Nigerian government to stand up for justice, domesticate the Rome Statute and prosecute perpetrators of international crimes in the country.

“The NCICC calls on the Nigerian government to join in the fight against impunity and domesticate the Rome Statute and further reiterates the need for the National Assembly to expedite the domestication of the Rome Statute bill which comes up for public hearing on the 18th of July 2018,” the statement added.