The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is warning Nigerian politicians not to “incite or engage in acts of violence in the context of the upcoming elections”.

In a special broadcast directed at Nigerian leaders, the courts Chief Prosecutor, Ms Fatou Bom Bensouda warned that “no one should doubt my office’s resolve to prosecute individuals responsible for the commission of ICC crimes whenever necessary”.

The ICC prosecutor reminded leaders that “the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over Rome Statute crimes committed on the territory of Nigeria”.

She said “violence is not a solution” to electoral competition and asked Nigerian politicians, by the conduct of peaceful elections, to “send a clear message that electoral competition does not have to result in violence and crimes”.

Nigeria is heading for national elections including presidential on Saturday 16 February while State elections will take place on 2 March 2019.

The current president of the ICC is Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji is a Nigerian international lawyer from Mbano, Imo State, Nigeria.

Here is the full text of the ICC's message.

“Following my statement of the 2nd of February 2015 and my office’s subsequent visit to Nigeria from the 3rd to the 5th of February, I reiterate my previous message.

“At a time when a current levels of violence already plague parts of the country, I recall that the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over Rome Statute crimes committed on the territory of Nigeria

“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 court or by the International Criminal Court.

“No one should doubt my office’s resolve to prosecute individuals responsible for the commission of ICC crimes whenever necessary. Violence is not a solution. The conduct of elections in Nigeria free from violence will not only prevent the instability in the country but will also send a clear message that electoral competition does not have to result in violence and crimes that shock the conscience of humanity.”

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