SERAP asks ICC to prosecute Nigerian leaders over 13.2 million out-of-school children

SERAP asks ICC to prosecute Nigerian leaders over 13.2 million out-of-school children

An anti – corruption advocacy group , Socio -Economic Rights and Accountability Project , has petitioned the International Criminal Court over the rising number of out – of -school children in Nigeria .

The group asked the ICC Prosecutor , Mrs Fatou Bensouda , to investigate whether the failure of the Nigerian leaders to address the problem of the 13 . 2 million out – of – school children in Nigeria was not tantamount to violence against children and crime against humanity .

In a statement on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare , SERAP said it urged Bensouda to push for the trial of all indictable Nigerian leaders , present and past , at the ICC , in The Hague , Netherlands.

It said , “ Investigating and prosecuting high -ranking Nigerian officials and providing reparations to victims will contribute to serving the best interests of Nigerian children , the most vulnerable citizens in our country , and ending the impunity that is denying them their right to education and a life free of violence and fear .

“ These out – of – school Nigerian children have been exposed to real danger, violence and even untimely death . Senior Nigerian politicians since 1999 have failed to understand the seriousness of the crime of leaving millions of children out of school , and have made an essential contribution to the commission of the crime . ”

SERAP recalled that the ICC had stated in the Lubanga case that the interruption , delay and denial of the right of children to education was a crime within its jurisdiction .

The group said it believed that the experience of the Nigerian out – of – school children was not different from that of children in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo , who were deprived of their right to education and human dignity .

“ There is no immunity for crimes under the Rome Statute . The crime of leaving millions of Nigerian children out of school is an opportunity for your office to show the Court ’ s commitment to effectively enforce its policy on children and other important statements of international criminal justice, ” SERAP said.

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