Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says Nigeria will not surrender its sovereignty to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Mohammed dismissed the threats of civil society organisations (CSOs) who vowed to report top government officials to the ICC.
Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, is among some of the individuals who have been served with such threats.
The court, headquartered in the Hague, Netherlands, tries individuals charged with the crimes such as genocide or war crimes.
In December, ICC issued a preliminary determination to investigate Nigerian security forces over allegations of “crimes against humanity” and “war crimes”.
But Mohammed said some CSOs have colluded with the ICC to “exacerbate the challenges facing the country in the area of security.”
“Let me say straight away that Nigeria is fending off attacks on many fronts, not just from terrorists and bandits, but also from some human rights organizations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) which seem to have colluded to exacerbate the challenges facing the country in the area of security,” he said.
“While our security agencies continue to battle these bandits and terrorists, the ICC and some international human rights organizations, especially Amnesty International, have constituted themselves to another ‘fighting force’ against Nigeria, constantly harassing our security forces and threatening them with investigation and possible prosecution over alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes.
“Unfortunately, a section of the local media has been parroting these organizations without weighing the impact of their constant threats on the security of the nation.
“The federal government frowns at this unbridled attempt to demoralize our security men and women as they confront the onslaught from bandits and terrorists.”
The minister said Nigeria did not join the ICC so it could become a pawn on the court’s chessboard.
“It beggars belief to see that a nation that is fighting an existential war against bandits and terrorists is constantly being held down by an international body which it willingly joined,” Mohammed said.
“Nigeria is a sovereign state and will not surrender its sovereignty to any organization. ICC, Amnesty International and their cohorts should desist from threatening our troops and putting the security of our country in jeopardy. Enough is enough.
“It is sad that these organisations mostly rely on fake news and disinformation to reach their conclusions, as witnessed during the EndSARS protest when CNN – an otherwise respected global news network – went to town with fake news of a massacre.”
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