Osinbajo, ICC prosecutor discuss proposed reforms

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the move by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to reform its system as part of efforts to mend relations with African countries is a welcome development.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement released in Abuja, said the vice president received on a courtesy to the Presidential Villa, ICC Prosecutor, Mr Karim Khan, who is on official visit to Nigeria.

The vice president said the proposal to reform the international justice system would reassure African countries that there was room for negotiations and that the ICC was not just out to witchhunt any individual or organisation. 

Osinbajo said that it was important to create a system that built relationships and credibility among member states adding there was need to create a sense that everyone could be treated fairly.

“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. He said it came at a critical time in the history of the continent, acknowledging Nigeria’s role in Africa.

Khan 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, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, and Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Amb. Eniola Ajayi, were present at the meeting.

Earlier, the vice president received the Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr 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.

Osinbajo said that with the meeting holding in Africa, leaders in the continent should ensure that the conversations on Climate Change favoured the continent. 

“Our developmental challenges are as existential as the Climate Change concern itself,” he said.

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