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Election Threat On Ndigbo: ICC Investigates Oba of Lagos


By IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has begun investigation on the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, over his alleged inciteful speech and threat to sink Igbos residing in Lagos State into the lagoon, should they failed to vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the April 2015 governorship election in the state.

Angered by the inciting remark, a former member of the Enugu State House of Assembly, and son of the late ex- Governor of old Anambra state, Dr. Josef Umunnakwe Onoh, had petitioned the ICC over the alleged Monarch’s
threat, asking the world jury to investigate the statement, with a view to bringing the Oba to justice.

The ex- Enugu lawmaker, had condemned in its entirety the Oba’s threat to annihilate the Igbo race over
election matters.

It would be recalled that the ICC, had earlier in the year acknowledged receipt of Onoh’s petition and promised to give consideration to his prayers.

In a second  correspondence to Onoh, with reference number OTP-CR-140/15, dated August 13 2015, ICC’s Head of the Information & Evidence unit in the office of the prosecutor, M.P. Dillion, said they were analyzing the situation identified in his petition with the assistance of other related communications and other 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.”

The Oba of Lagos, had threatened to throw the Igbo into Lagos lagoon if they failed to vote for the Governorship candidate of the APC, Akinwumi Ambode, which Onoh responded by swearing to present Oba Akiolu’s inciteful speech before the ICC and subsequently made real his vow through a petition dated April 21, 2015.

Acknowledging receipt of the petition, the ICC Head of Information and Evidence Unit, office of the prosecutor, M.P. Dillon said: “This communication has been duly entered in the communications register of the office.”

Onoh petitioned the ICC saying he believes 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 looses 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 himself, it was a call to arms and an incitement to violence against the Igbos,” Onoh

It will be recalled that it was a similar incitement speech by the Zulu king that caused the recent xenophobia rampage in South Africa.



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