iccInternational Criminal Court, ICC, has commenced investigation on the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, for allegedly instigating hate speech and threat to sink into the lagoon Igbos residing in Lagos State if they failed to vote for the All Progressives Congress, APC, during the April 11, 2015, governorship election.
Shocked by the Oba’s threat, the son of the late former governor of old Anambra State, Dr. Josef Umunnakwe Onoh petitioned the ICC over the Oba’s threat, where he asked the world jury to investigate the monarch and bring him to justice for planning to annihilate the Igbo over election matters.
Earlier in the year, ICC had acknowledged receipt of Onoh’s petition and promised to consider his request.
In a second correspondence to Onoh with reference number OTP-CR-140/15, dated August 13, 2015, ICC’s Head of the Information and Evidence Unit in the Office of the Prosecutor, M.P. Dillion, said they were analysing the situation identified in the petition with the assistance of other related communications and available information.
Part of the ICC’s latest letter to Onoh reads: “Under Article 53 of the Rome Statute, the prosecutor must consider whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court have been committed, the gravity of the crimes, whether national systems are investigating and prosecuting the relevant crimes, and the interests of justice.”
Oba Akiolu had threatened to throw the Igbo into the Lagos lagoon if they failed to vote for APC governorship candidate, now Governor Akinwumi Ambode, which Onoh responded by swearing to present the monarch’s inciting speech before the ICC and subsequently made real his vow through a petition dated April 21, 2015.
Acknowledging receipt of the petition, Dillon said: “This communication has been duly entered in the communications register of the office.”
Onoh said he believed that Oba Akiolu’s threat amounted to a call for violence to be perpetrated against the Igbo in Lagos in the event that the APC governorship candidate lost the election, which he noted violates Article 20 of the International Convention and Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
“Had the threat been made by any lesser person we would have dismissed same as an idle threat, but coming from the Oba of Lagos, it was a call to arms and an incitement to violence against the Igbos,” Onoh said.