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Arms deal scandal: Falana asks ICC to investigate, prosecute Dasuki, others

By The Citizen
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Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate allegations of crimes against humanity committed by some former and serving military officers, public officials and private persons including former security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki who are involved in the alleged diversion of $8 billion earmarked for procurement of arms and armaments for the armed forces to fight insurgency.

The request is contained in a petition dated January 19, 2016 and sent to the Prosecutor of the ICC, Mrs Fatou Bensouda.

Specifically, Falana urged the ICC prosecutor to 'urgently investigate proprio motu 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'

He said the ICC prosecutor should also 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.

According to Falana, the prosecutor should bring to justice those suspected to bear full responsibility for deliberate under funding of the armed forces through widespread and systematic corruption in Nigeria.

He urged the Nigerian government to fulfill 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.

The lawyer whose firm represented a majority of the soldiers charged with mutiny, cowardly behavior and sundry offences before the courts-martial instituted by the former military authorities said the only 'offence' proved against the soldiers in the military courts were that they had the temerity to demand for weapons to fight the well equipped troops of the Boko Haram sect.'

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

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

He 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.