Rights Group Wants Buhari To Seek ICC Arrest Warrant For Diezani
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) wants Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for corruption charges.
It is asking President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently “seek an arrest warrant from the ICC" to ensure that the former Minister of Petroleum is brought to book for allegations of corruption against her.
The group wants the government to consider the allegations of corruption as crimes against humanity, and serious enough for it to sanction her prosecution before the ICC.
The organisation also urged the government to “pursue civil actions to ensure that all the funds allegedly stolen by her are fully recovered and duly accounted for".
In a statement by SERAP’s deputy director, Timothy Adewale, the organisation said “the allegations of corruption against Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke suggest the manifest failure of the government of former president Goodluck Jonathan to protect Nigerians from such heinous crimes.
“Your government now has the responsibility to take bold action to sufficiently redress this injustice committed against Nigerians, and the significant long-term damage for the country”.
SERAP also pointed out that “by pursuing international warrant of arrest for Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke in order for her to be brought before the ICC, your government would be showing to Nigerians that it is indeed determined to match its stated commitment to combat grand corruption and its debilitating effects with concrete and bold action".
SERAP’s request is coming at a time there are growing allegations of corruption against Mrs Alison-Madueke and the recent disclosure by the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had recovered about half a trillion Naira from her. Several court orders have also seized millions of dollars from bank accounts and forfeiture of several houses both in Nigeria and abroad linked to her.
The statement further read: “SERAP believes that as important as it is, the recovery of alleged stolen public funds from Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke is far from adequate to redress the crimes against humanity that have been committed against Nigerians.
“The allegations of corruption clearly suggest the exploitation of Nigeria’s natural resources to the detriment of its people, and are serious enough to meet the requirements of crimes against humanity, thus bringing her within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
“Pursuing this case before the ICC would also help to deter grand corruption and its devastating effects on Nigeria and contribute to the development of case-law in the field of corruption and citizens’ socio-economic rights, and ultimately advance the right of Nigerians to restitution, compensation and guarantee of non-repetition. Such bold initiative would also improve public confidence in the fight against corruption”.