The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim A. Khan, is requesting permission to investigate the kidnapping of students in Nigeria.
The investigation will look into kidnappings in Nigeria’s north, school closures, and the federal and state governments’ repeated failures to stop the kidnappings.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) announced the development on Sunday .
SERAP urged Khan to press for the trial of those suspected of being responsible and complicit in the crimes in a petition filed in September.
The severe and lifelong harms that result from depriving children of their right to education, according to the rights group, meet the Rome Statute’s gravity of harm threshold.
Khan told SERAP in an October 22 letter with Ref. No. OTP-CR-363/21 that the criteria for an investigation into a string of abductions had been met.
The preliminary examination of the petition is considered complete, according to a letter signed on behalf of the prosecutor by Mark P. Dillon, Head of Information and Evidence Unit.
The next step in the judicial process, according to Article 53 of the Rome Statute, is to “prepare and submit a request to the Pre-Trial Chamber for authorisation to open an investigation on Nigeria.”
“The request will be made publicly available on the Court’s website, www.icccpi.int, once it has been submitted.”
“Your communication, along with other related communications and other available information, will be forwarded to the appropriate team for analysis in the context of any future investigations.”
SERAP applauded the ICC prosecutor for taking a significant step toward exposing those responsible for the schoolchildren’s atrocities in a statement.
According to the organisation, impartial justice and reparation will put an end to the impunity of perpetrators and improve access to education for Nigerian children.
“Justice must be served to the victims of these crimes.” To achieve these important goals, SERAP will work closely with the ICC, according to deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.
27 students and three teachers kidnapped from the Federal Government College in Birnin Yauri, Kebbi, were released last week.
The former hostages had been held captive for four months; others are still being held while their release is negotiated.
Governor Atiku Bagudu told the victims that their kidnapping was a divine test.
“Even Allah’s Prophets, who are the best and most devoted people, have been tried and tested.
“One thing is certain: if you are put to the test and become patient, the sky is the limit, and only Allah knows your reward,” Bagudu said.