A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, has asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the allegation of diversion of the $2.1bn arms funds by a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), and some military and public officials.
Falana also called on the ICC to bring to justice those who diverted the funds meant for the empowerment of the country’s security forces.
In a petition dated January 19, 2016, and sent to the Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, Falana asked the ICC to invite the Federal Government to provide written or oral testimonies at the seat of the court on the stolen funds.
He alleged that the sum of $322m and £5.5m from the money stolen and stashed abroad by the late Gen. Sani Abacha, allegedly transferred to Dasuki by a former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to prosecute the war on terror, had been illegally diverted.
He said it was unfortunate that part of the stolen funds was used to fund the re-election campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 general elections.
Falana maintained that those who engaged in the criminal diversion of the security funds should be held liable for the death of about 25,000 people, who were killed by the Boko Haram sect and the over 2,000,000 people, who were displaced by the terrorists.
According to him, the Federal Government needs to fulfil its obligations by cooperating with the ICC to arrest suspected perpetrators of the stolen funds and provide other support to the ICC.
The human rights activist stressed that sufficient evidences gathered so far were sufficient to hold Dasuki and others that were being prosecuted for the scandal responsible for crimes against humanity.
The petition partly reads, “On account of the deliberate refusal of the former military authorities to equip and motivate the members of the armed forces involved in combat operations, the insurgents have killed about 25,000 soldiers and civilians including children and displaced over 2,000,000 people.
“The ICC needs to urgently commence an investigation proprio motu on the allegations of the criminal diversion of the security funds of $2.1bn and N643bn earmarked by suspected perpetrators, with a view to determining whether these amount to crimes against humanity within the Court’s jurisdiction.” (Punch)