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ICC TO INVESTIGATE PATIENCE JONATHAN OVER HATE SPEECH ALLEGATION
The International Criminal Court, ICC, on Monday confirmed receiving correspondence from the All Progressives Congress, APC, against Patience Jonathan, the Nigerian First Lady, the online news medium The Cable has reported.
According to the news website, which wrote to the office of the prosecutor at the ICC seeking clarification on reports that the court had formally received a petition against the First Lady from the APC, the office in a reply affirmed that communication was received from opposition party and that the petition would be given the necessary consideration within the ambits of the law.
“Under Article 15 of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor of the ICC may receive information on crimes within the jurisdiction on the Court (also called ‘communications’),” the office is reported to have stated.
“With regards to your enquiry, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court can confirm receipt of the communication referred to since the sender of the communication has made this fact public in the media,” it said in the reply.
The United Kingdom arm of the APC also claimed in a statement released Monday that the court said it would begin investigating the wife of the president.
“The ICC based in The Hague has sent confirmation to APC UK that an investigation will begin against Mrs Jonathan who repeatedly called for the stoning of opposition APC members as captured in the videos released earlier this month,” it said.
Confirming this report, the prosecutor’s office said that it would consider the stance of the APC and treat the allegations appropriately.
“The Office will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as it does with all such communications,” it stated.
Political parties signed a peace accord, popularly referred to as the Abuja Peace Accord in January promising to desist from all acts of violence, hate and inciting speeches in order to ensure violence-free elections.
The APC, however, filed a complaint before the ICC against Jonathan for her comments in which she allegedly charged her supporters at a campaign in Cross Rivers State to stone anyone who comes to the state to preach “change” – the political mantra of the APC.
Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor at the ICC released a statement on Monday threatening that anyone fuelling violence ahead of the election would be prosecuted.
“Any person who incites or engages in acts of violence in the context of the upcoming elections or otherwise – including by ordering, inciting, encouraging or contributing to the commission of crimes that fall within ICC’s jurisdiction – is liable to prosecution; either by Nigerian Courts or by the ICC,” the statement read.
“No one should doubt my office’s resolve to prosecute individuals responsible for the commission of ICC crimes, whenever necessary,” he warned.