Breaking: Femi Falana Reports Goodluck Jonathan To International Criminal Court

Breaking: Femi Falana Reports Goodluck Jonathan To International Criminal Court 

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has requested the International
Criminal Court to “investigate allegations of crimes against humanity
committed against the Nigerian people by some former and serving
military as well public officials and private persons who engaged in the
criminal diversion of $8 billion earmarked to procure equipment for the
armed forces to fight insurgency.”In a petition dated January 19, 2016 and sent to the Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, Mr. Falana said:

 “We are a firm of civil rights lawyers based in Lagos, Nigeria. We are
the defence counsel for the majority of the members of the Armed Forces
of the Republic of Nigeria who were charged with mutiny, cowardly
behaviour and sundry offences before the
courts-martial instituted by the former military authorities. 

As we shall demonstrate anon, the only “offence” proved against our
clients in the military courts was that they had the temerity to demand
for weapons to fight the well equipped troops of the Boko Haram sect.” 

On account of the deliberate refusal of the former military authorities
to equip and motivate the members of the armed forces involved in combat
operations the insurgents have killed about 25,000 soldiers and
civilians including children and displaced over 2,000,000 people. 

Having compromised the security of the people of Nigeria by
collaborating with the terrorists the former military authorities
deliberately encouraged the brutal killing of innocent people including
ill-equipped officers and soldiers.”

“During a visit to Borno state in 2014, former President Jonathan
revealed to some selected leaders of the community that it was when
Alhaji Modu Ali Sheriff caused the extra judicial killing of the leader
of the Boko Haram sect, Mohammed Yusuf that the group declared war on
the Nigerian people. 

Even though President Jonathan knew that Alhaji Sheriff was a major
sponsor of the terrorist group the government did not charge him to
court under the Terrorism Act applicable in Nigeria.”

“In order to divert the attention of the Nigerian people and the
international community from the afore mentioned crimes against
humanity, scores of soldiers were put on trial before courts-martial for
demanding for equipment to fight the well-armed members of the Boko
Haram sect. The military courts convicted the soldiers and sentenced
them to various terms of imprisonment while 70 were sentenced to death.
Over 3,000 others were dismissed from the Nigerian Army in similar
circumstances.”

“Having investigated and confirmed that the said soldiers were
sacrificed to cover up the criminal negligence of the former military
authorities the current Army leadership has ordered the recall and
reinstatement of the 3,000 dismissed soldiers and commuted the death
sentence of 66 out of 70 convicts on death row to 10 years’
imprisonment.”

“The inquiry conducted by the Presidential Panel on arms procurement has
established that the bulk of the sum of $2.1 billion and N643 billion
($4 billion) earmarked for the purchase of military hardware to fight
terrorism was criminally diverted by the former government through the
office of the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd). 

It has also been confirmed that the said Col. Dasuki colluded with some
serving and retired military officers and civilians to divert the sum of
$2 billion and N29 billion set aside for the procurement of fighter
jets and other equipment for the Nigeria Air Force.”

“As if that was not enough, the sum of $322 million and £5.5 million
from the Abacha loot which was illegally transferred to Col. Dasuki by a
former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for prosecuting the
war on terror has also been criminally diverted. Part of the stolen fund
was used to fund the campaign for the re-election of President Goodluck
Jonathan in the 2015 general elections.”

“Apart from diverting the fund for acquiring military equipment some
corrupt public officers also stole money set aside for acquiring the
necessary gadgets and equipment for securing the Nigerian people. For
instance, the $470 million contract awarded in 2009 for the installation
of CCTV cameras in Abuja, the seat of the federal government, was
poorly executed due to corrupt practices. 

Thus, the identification of terrorists who launched bomb attacks in
public places in Abuja has been frustrated by the government officials
who stole the contract sum.”

“Notwithstanding the deliberate refusal of the military authorities to
purchase arms and armament due to the criminal diversion of the security
fund, Col. Dasuki gave a lecture at Chatham House in London on February
8, 2015 where he claimed that Nigeria had acquired adequate equipment
to prosecute the war on terror. At the time he was addressing his London
audience Col Dasuki was well aware that the fund for procurement of
weapons had been stolen by himself and his cohorts.”

“However, out of the fear that he could be made to account for his role
in the diversion of the security fund the then Chief of Defence Staff,
Air Marshal Barde disclosed, while he was retiring from the service on
July 30, 2015, that the armed forces led by him lacked the equipment to
fight the terrorists. 

In his reaction to the disclosure Col. Dasuki stated sometime in August
2015 that the equipment ordered by the Jonathan Administration had not
arrived the country!”

“It is submitted that the former public officials, serving and military
officers as well as civilian collaborators who engaged in the criminal
diversion of the security fund are liable to bear full responsibility
for the death of about 25,000 people who were killed by the Boko Haram
sect and the over 2,000,000 people displaced by the terrorist
organisation.”

“Although the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has so far shown
some political will to fight corruption and recover stolen assets, we
believe that an international investigation by the ICC from the
perspective of crimes against humanity would complement the
anti-corruption initiatives by the current government and contribute to
ending a culture of impunity of perpetrators. 

Mr. Falana then asked the ICC Prosecutor to:

  • 1. Urgently commence an investigation proprio motu on the
    allegations of the criminal diversion of the security fund of $2.1
    billion and N643 billion earmarked by suspected perpetrators, with a
    view to determining whether these amount to crimes against humanity
    within the Court’s jurisdiction. In this respect, I also urge you to
    invite representatives of the Nigerian government to provide written or
    oral testimony at the seat of the Court, so that the Prosecutor is able
    to conclude on the basis of available information whether there is a
    reasonable basis for an investigation, and to submit a request to the
    Pre-Trial Chamber for authorization of an investigation. 
  • 2. Bring to justice those suspected to bear full responsibility for
    deliberate under funding of the armed forces through widespread and
    systematic corruption in Nigeria; and
  • 3. Urge the Nigerian government to fulfil its obligations under the
    Rome Statute to cooperate with the ICC; including complying with your
    requests to arrest and surrender suspected perpetrators of the criminal
    diversion of security fund, testimony, and provide other support to the
    ICC.