Richard Ginika Izuora
Karim Khan, prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, ICC, has accepted to launch investigation into various cases of abduction of schoolchildren in Nigeria.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) disclosed this on Sunday, October 24, which is a fall out of its petition to Khan on September 16, asking him to investigate the rising cases of abduction of schoolchildren in northern Nigeria.
According to SERAP, depriving children of their right to education has severe consequences on their ability to access their fundamental rights.
Kidnapping in schools, particularly in the northern region, has become rampant in the country.
Kolapo Oluwadare, deputy director of SERAP, said the advocacy group received a response to the petition from Mark P. Dillion, head of information and evidence unit, on behalf of the ICC prosecutor.
“The criteria for opening an investigation into a string of abductions and closure of schools in some parts of Nigeria have been met,” Dillion said.
Oluwadare said investigation will start as soon as the prosecutor gets authorisation from the pre-trial chamber of the court.
“The severe and lifelong harms that result from depriving children the right to education; satisfy the gravity of harm threshold under the Rome Statute,” he said.
“By this decision, the ICC prosecutor has taken a significant step; toward ensuring that those suspected to be responsible for grave crimes against Nigerian schoolchildren are exposed, and held to account.
“The victims of these crimes deserve justice. Impartial justice and reparation will deal a decisive blow to the impunity of perpetrators; and also improve access of Nigerian children to education. SERAP will work closely with the ICC to achieve these important objectives.”