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ICC Extends War Crime Probes To Army, Shi’ites, IPOB Clashes – Report



ICC extends war crime probes to Army, Shi’ites, IPOB clashes – Report

The International Criminal Court has said it has extended its preliminary examinations on possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Nigeria to cover the clashes between Nigerian soldiers and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, a body of Shi’ite Muslims in the country.

The ICC is also extending the examinations to the clashes between the Nigerian soldiers and a separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra.

The ICCI disclosed this in its 2019 edition of the annual Report of Preliminary Examination Activities issued by the office of its Prosecutor headed by Mrs Fatou Bensouda.

The report dated December 5, 2019 indicated that preliminary examination of the situation in Nigeria was announced on November 18, 2010.

It noted that the Office of the ICC Prosecutor on November 12, 2015 “identified eight potential cases involving the commission of crimes against humanity and war crimes under articles 7 and 8” of the Rome Statutes.

The report, which stated that Nigeria was among the countries under Phase 3 examinations by the Office of the Prosecutor, added that its latest updated “subject-matter assessment” had increased the number of potential cases involving Nigeria from eight to 10.

Of the 10 cases now under the ICC preliminary examination, seven of them were said to be for Boko Haram and three for the Nigerian security forces.

The issues of the security forces’ clashes with Shi’ites’ and IPOB members as well as communal clashes in Benue, Plateau and other North-Central states and in some parts of the North-East were said to have been thrown up in the latest updated assessment by the ICC Prosecutor.

Both the IMN and the IPOB have been proscribed and designated as terrorist organisations by the Federal Government on the account of the groups’ alleged violent activities.

A judicial inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government to investigate the December 2015 clash between the IMN members and soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, concluded that the military killed 347 IMN members in Zaria, Kaduna State, the base of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

A few IPOB members were also said to have been killed during the September 2017 Operation Python Dance II carried out by the Army to quell the agitation for secession by the South-East group.

A soldier was said to have been killed during the IMN members’ clash with the Army in 2015 and IPOB members were also alleged to have killed some members of the security forces on different occasions.

The ICC report stated in its 2019 report that it had received 15 communications concerning the clashes and communal violence in the North-Central and North-East.

While it said it had been reviewing the allegations, it expressed concern about allegations of “ongoing evidence tampering and of alleged destruction of evidence” in respect of the IMN members clash with the Army.

The report stated, “During the reporting period, the office worked on finalising its assessment on subject-matter jurisdiction with respect to the events which took place in December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna State, when members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria reportedly clashed with the NSF (Nigerian security forces.

“Other allegations that the office has been reviewing include allegations with respect to the conduct of the NSF against members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and communal violence in Nigeria’s North-Central and North-East.”

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Idumota Crisis: NURTW Suspends Operations In Lagos After Kunle Poly’s Arrest



Following the deadly clash in the Idumota area of Lagos Island, Lagos State, the National Union of Road Transport Workers says its operations has been suspended in Lagos State.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the arrest of two of its leaders in Lagos State, Kunle Poly and Sego in connection with the chaos at Idumota.

Recall that two persons were feared killed during a clash between two factional members of a transport union in the Idumota area of Lagos .

The two factions – Eyo boys, reportedly loyal to a union leader known as Kunle Poly, and Kosoko boys – have been at loggerheads over control of territory in the bustling commercial centre.

It was gathered that Eyo boys expected Kosoko boys collecting levies from commercial bus drivers on Idumota Bridge to make returns but the latter declined.

The growing tension reportedly erupted in a clash around 12pm on Thursday as hoodlums fired gunshots and brandished cutlasses.

One person was said to have been shot dead while another bled to death from machete cuts inflicted on him.

The violence forced traders in markets around the area to abruptly shut down their shops and run for dear life.

Videos of the clash went viral on Friday, with one of the clips showing a bloodied youth being carried away in a wheelbarrow as people ran helter-skelter.

On Monday, the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad arrested Kunle Poly and Sego.

The police said Kunle Poly and Sego are principal suspects in the recurring clashes in Idumota and its environs.

RRS said Kunle Poly and Sego have been transferred to Zone II, Onikan, Lagos.

Reacting, President of NURTW, Tajudeen Baruwa, condemned the killings and attacks among members of the union, and the unrest that lead to the death of people yet to be identified at Idumota axis of Lagos last week.

He said, “The NURTW has followed this incident that brought Lagos island to a chaotic situation, posing danger to life and properties and grounding business activities in the area. We hereby assure Lagosians, as the national body of NURTW, that something will be done to end such conduct. We cannot continue this way, putting a bad image on the entirety of the Union, this is unacceptable.

“We are using this medium to pass a strong message to the union’s members in Lagos at large, that state’s council executives and NURTW operations in the state entirely may be suspended indefinitely to allow investigation on the incident to be carried out diligently.

“However, consultations are ongoing with the state government, security agencies, and other stakeholders so as to reach an arrangement on next line of actions which would be determined by the outcome of the reached agreement.”

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Fuel Subsidy: NLC Suspends Thursday’s Nationwide Protest



The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called off the planned nationwide protest against the proposed removal of fuel subsidy.

Addressing journalists on Tuesday at the Labour House in Abuja, NLC president, Ayuba Wabba said that: ” Following the reversal and reapproach by government, the national Executive Council of NLC met this morning virtually to consider the new position of the government.

“The NEC after vigorous debates took a decision to suspend the planned nationwide protest scheduled for January 27 and the national protest scheduled for February 2nd”.

Details later…

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JUST IN: CBN Committee Retains Benchmark Interest Rate At 11.5%



The Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee on Tuesday retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.5% and kept all other parameters unchanged.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele made the announcement while addressing journalists at the bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

The MPR, which has remained unchanged for months, is a powerful tool for regulating interest rates in the economy.

Lowering the rate could have stimulated more borrowing while raising the rate could have signaled the CBN’s intention to reduce the economy’s money supply.

Details later…

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