President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the International Criminal Court, ICC, of free, fair and peaceful general elections in 2019
He said all hands were on deck to forestall the violence that characterised the 2011 elections which necessities investigations by the International Criminal Court.
Buhari made the promise today, while he delivered a keynote address at the Solemn Hearing to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the ICC, at The Hague.
Addressing the Court the President said, “Let me intimate you that Nigeria is preparing to conduct general elections in 2019.
“Contrary to the tragic incidents that characterised the 2011 general elections in Nigeria which necessitated preliminary investigations by the International Criminal Court, I assure you that all hands are on deck to prevent any recurrence of such tragic incidents.
“We shall do everything possible to ensure that Nigeria witnesses the conduct of free, fair and peaceful elections in 2019.”
Buhari called on the states parties to support ICC with jurisdiction over serious cases of corruption and illicit financial flows by state actors.
He added, “A strong and effective ICC has the potential to send a powerful message about the international community’s commitment to accountability, a message that will be heard by both victims and perpetrators.
“Equally, a strong and effective ICC demonstrates the international community’s commitment to the rule of law.
‘‘A strong and effective ICC can also act as a catalyst for other justice efforts, expanding the reach of accountability.
“These could include serious cases of corruption by state actors that severely compromise the development efforts of countries and throw citizens into greater poverty.
“These could also include cases of illicit financial flows where countries are complicit and obstruct repatriation of stolen assets. As the African Union Champion on Anti-corruption, these are issues dear to my heart.”
Over 25 high-level state officials, the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, O-Gon Kwon, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, ICC Registrar Peter Lewis, UN Legal Counsel Miguel de Serpa Soares, and other special guests, attended the event.
The President’s full speech can be accessed here.