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ICC playing politics with religious violence in Nigeria —CAN

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has accused the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, of playing political games with the country with the way the global court has been handling petitions filed by the Association on religious violence and extremism which has led to the death of many Christians.

CAN expressed its disappointment and shock in a statement jointly signed by its President, General Secretary and Director of Legal & Public Affairs, Revd. Samson Ayokunle, its General Secretary, Barr. Joseph Daramola and Barr. Comfort Ochigbue respectively on Saturday in Abuja, which queried the ICC’s impartiality in treating its petitions.

CAN said the number of Christians killed in Nigeria in the past few years has continued to increase, noting that it was still hopeful justice would be served by the ICC “despite the writing on the wall which depicts the prosecutor Khan was playing political games and unwilling to engage with victims of atrocity let alone Christian victims.”

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The statement continued, “At the International Criminal Court, the situation of Nigeria has, since 11 December, 2020, been in limbo between the closing of the Preliminary Examination stage and the making of a request for leave to open an investigation.

“There is a great deal of explanation to be done for this state of affairs.

“Yet, Mr Khan only met with members of the government of Nigeria, and seems not to have discussed this. We note that at least one of the individuals that he met has been identified to the Prosecutor’s office as a potential candidate for prosecution.

“Mr Khan is clearly playing a political game, and is prioritising relations with the government of Nigeria. CAN is dismayed that the word ‘victim’ only appeared twice in his statement, and both times they were in bland stock-phrases.

“This is no accident, it reveals that this Prosecutor is not interested in standing up for victims of atrocity, but is trying to unburden himself of the Nigeria situation,” the Christian body said.

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