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The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday confirmed receiving correspondence from the All Progressives Congress (APC), against Patience Jonathan, the Nigerian first lady. TheCable had written to the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) seeking clarification on reports that the court had formally received a petition against the first lady from APC. The response was that communication was received from APC and the petition would be given the necessary considerations within the ambits of the the law. “Under Article 15 of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor of the ICC may receive information on crimes within the jurisdiction on the Court (also called ‘communications’),” OTP said. “With regards to your enquiry, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court can confirm receipt of the communication referred to since the sender of the communication has made this fact public in the media.

” Earlier on Monday, the United Kingdom arm of the APC claimed that the criminal court said it would begin investigating the wife of the president.

“The ICC based in the Hague has sent confirmation to APC UK, that an investigation will begin against Mrs Jonathan who repeatedly called for the stoning of opposition APC members as captured in the videos released earlier this month,” it said. “The criminal case investigation ICC reference number is: OTP-CR-83/15.” The OTP also told TheCable that it would consider the stance of the APC and treat the allegations as appropriate.

“The Office will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as it does with all such communications.” In order to ensure a violence-free election, political parties signed a peace accord in January, promising to desist from all acts of violence, hate and inciting speeches. The APC however filed a complaint before the ICC against Mrs. Jonathan for her inciting speeches, having told Nigerians at a campaign in Cross River to stone anyone who comes to the state to preach “change” – the mantra of the APC. Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, released a statement on Monday threatening anyone fuelling violence ahead of the election would be prosecuted.

“Any person who incites or engages in acts of violence in the context of the upcoming elections or otherwise – including by ordering, inciting, encouraging or contributing to the commission of crimes that fall within ICC’s jurisdiction – is liable to prosecution; either by Nigerian Courts or by the ICC,” the statement read. “No one should doubt my office’s resolve to prosecute individuals responsible for the commission of ICC crimes, whenever necessary.

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