Document Type : Original Article
Professor,ì; BA(Ed) (UNN); LLB(UNN); BL, MPA (UNN); LLM (UNN); PhD (ABSU); Godfrey Okoye University of Enugu (Nigeria)
It is a global knowledge that the Boko Haram Terrorists and its offshoot of the Islamic State in West African Province have been fighting Nigerian security forces, especially in the North East of Nigeria since 2009. These terrorists in pursuit of their plan/policy have displaced millions of Nigerians, murdered thousands of innocent civilians, maimed, pillaged, raped, tortured and destroyed civilian objects with impunity. The crux of this paper is to investigate whether crimes against humanity have been committed by the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria and, where it is committed whether the International Criminal Court can prosecute and sanction the perpetrators. The paper copiously demonstrated that the Boko Haram terrorists committed crimes against humanity in all its ramifications via their activities in Nigeria. The common place where the citizens of Nigeria assemble often are market places, restaurants, churches, mosques, motor parks, schools and colleges. Unfortunately, it is these places that became targets by the Boko Haram terrorists killing civilians who were horse de combat as well as destruction of civilian objects and consequently, committed crimes against humanity. The paper also shows that the Federal Government of Nigeria led by Muhammed Buhari is handling the Boko Haram terrorists with kid-glove. Consequently, the Federal Government is unable or unwilling to prosecute and sanction the Boko Haram perpetrators for reasons best known to them. It is therefore, recommended that the International Criminal Court should step in to prosecute and sanction the Boko Haram terrorists for the heinous crimes committed against thousands of innocent civilians in Nigeria to ensure justice and assuage the spirits of the innocent people the terrorists killed like goats.