…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
The Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (CHURAC), a sociopolitical group, has taken a significant step by submitting a petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
The petition calls for the prosecution of Nigeria’s former President, Muhammadu Buhari, and the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on alleged charges of “crime against humanity.”
Request for ICC Investigation and Accountability
The five-page petition, dated June 4, 2023, urges the ICC to utilize its authority under Article 15 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to investigate the actions of Buhari and Emefiele.
CHURAC argues that these officials should be held accountable for the policies they initiated and implemented during their time in office in Nigeria.
Currency Redesign Policy and Widespread Criticism
CHURAC’s primary concern revolves around the redesign of the Nigerian 200, 500, and 1000 naira notes, which included a deadline of January 31, 2023, for the use of the old currency notes.
The group highlights that this decision triggered widespread criticism, with financial experts globally, including the International Monetary Fund, warning that the timing of the policy would have adverse effects on the Nigerian economy, leading to hardship for Nigerians.
Lack of Consultation and Opposition
According to CHURAC, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, stated on October 28, 2022, that the Central Bank of Nigeria did not consult her ministry on the currency redesign policy.
Ahmed further warned that the Currency Swap Policy could inflict further damage on the Nigerian economy.
Despite these warnings, Buhari confirmed his full support for the Central Bank’s decision on October 30, 2022, stating that there was no turning back.
Violation of Fundamental Rights and Crime Against Humanity
CHURAC firmly believes that the actions of Godwin Emefiele and former President Buhari have flagrantly violated the fundamental rights of Nigerians, which are protected by international laws.
The group argues that these officials’ actions constitute a crime against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Request for Investigation and Relief for Affected Nigerians
In their petition to the ICC, CHURAC emphasizes the need for a comprehensive investigation into the effects of the currency redesign policy.
They assert that many Nigerians are still enduring the adverse consequences of this detrimental policy.
CHURAC hopes that the involvement of the ICC will serve as a deterrent to other leaders who might contemplate policies that infringe on the rights of their citizens.