Today, at 15:00 hrs, professor Göran Sluiter, lawyer and partner at Prakken d'Oliveira Human Rights Lawyers in Amsterdam, physically handed over the complaint against General Muhammadu Buhari on account of the 2011 electoral violence in Nigeria, to the ICC Prosecutor. Professor Sluiter is acting on behalf of the Nigerian Northern Coalition for Democracy and Justice and two individual victims.
The complaint sets out in detail the background to the 2011 Nigerian electoral violence and discusses the available evidence against General Buhari. In addition, the complaint analyses the crimes that fall within the ambit of the the ICC Statute as well as the modes of liability applicable to General Buhari's conduct.
The thrust of the complaint is that the electoral violence in Nigeria in 2011 was not spontaneous, but orchestrated and the direct result of General Buhari's inflammatory speeches. Furthermore, the complaint contains frequent references to other cases of electoral violence (in Kenya and the Ivory Coast) which are currelty being prosecuted before the ICC. At the very least, the electoral violence of 2011 in Nigeria is of similar gravity and thus also warrants investigation and prosecution by the ICC.
The filing of the present complaint was not only motivated by the keen desire to deliver justice to the many victims of the 2011 electoral violence, but also serves to deter all those participating in future Nigerian elections and their supporters from committing similar crimes.
In this light, it is with great concern that the legal team has learned that three representatives of the Northern Coalition for Democracy Justice received death threats from Buhari-supportersfollowing the announcement of the case. This is unacceptable. It is imperative in any justice system based on the rule of law, that victims can pursue justice without any interference and intimidation.