From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has said the proposal to reform the international justice system by the International Criminal Court (ICC) would “reassure African countries that there is room for negotiations and that the ICC is not just out to witch hunt any individual or organisation.”
According to a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, the Vice President, stated this Tuesday when he received on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr Karim Khan, who is visiting the country.
He said it was a welcome development, and a crucial moment for the continent, as ICC as part of efforts to mend relations with African countries is carrying out the reforms.
Osinbajo noted that it is important to create a system that builds relationships and credibility among member states, “creating a sense that everyone can be treated fairly.”
Commending the Court for making the bold move, the VP said “the steps that you are taking are very crucial. For Nigeria, you will get all the cooperation, and at the end of the day, people must feel that the system is just and fair to all.”
Earlier in his remarks, Khan expressed excitement at the visit, noting that “it comes at a critical time in the history of the continent,” acknowledging Nigeria’s role in Africa.
He explained that the Court, through the proposed roadmap for reforms, would assist African countries achieve justice, applying the principle of complementarity.
He pledged the commitment of the Court to work with local authorities to encourage domestic jurisdictions to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of core international crimes.
Aside ICC officials on the entourage of the Prosecutor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Amb. Eniola Ajayi, were present at the meeting.
In a related development, the Vice President received the Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ihab Awad who came to brief him on the next meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be hosted in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt later in November this year.
In his remarks, Osinbajo noted that with the meeting holding in Africa, leaders in the continent should ensure that the converstions on Climate Change go the way “we want it to go,” adding that “our developmental challenges are as existential as the Climate Change concern itself.”