ICC set to investigate abduction of school children in Nigeria after SERAP’s petition

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Following a petition filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to investigate the many cases of abduction of schoolchildren in Nigeria.

The Prosecutor is reported to have gotten authorisation from the Pre-Trial Chamber of the court to begin the investigation.

According to SERAP, the investigation will also focus on the persistent failure of Nigerian authorities to bring an end to abduction of schoolchildren in the country.

Deputy Director, SERAP, Kolawole Oluwadare made this known in a statement on Sunday, October 24, 2021.

He said, “The severe and lifelong harms that result from depriving children the right to education satisfy the gravity of harm threshold under the Rome Statute.”

Oluwadare said SERAP had sent in the petition to the ICC prosecutor, Mr Karim A. A. Khan in September 2021, adding that the human rights organisation had received a response from Mark P. Dillon, the court’s Head of the Information and Evidence Unit.

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 impunity of perpetrators, and improve access of Nigerian children to education.”

He added that SERAP would work closely with the ICC to achieve the objectives of the petition.

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