The International Criminal Court, on Tuesday, acknowledged a 27-page petition filed by Yoruba Nation agitators.
Those who signed the petition are the Leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye; Yoruba Activist, Sunday Adeyemo fondly called Sunday Igboho; and other 49 Yoruba Self-Determination Groups.
The petition was filed against against the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN; former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; and former Inspectors General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and Muhammed Adamu.
In the petition, the Yoruba Nation agitators accused the Nigerian leaders and security chiefs of genocide and crimes against humanity against the Yoruba people of Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Okun Land in Kogi, and Kwara states respectively.
A letter to the petitioners’ lawyer by the ICC’s Head of Information and Evidence Unit of the Office of the Prosecutor, Mr. Mark P. Dilon, read, “This communication has been duly entered in the Communications Register of the Office.
“We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
“As soon as a decision is reached to formally commence investigation into this petition, we will inform you, in writing, and provide you, with reasons for this decision.”
The 27-page petition accused Buhari, Malami, Buratai, and others of Genocide offences such as killing members of the petitioners group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part.
Akintoye, in a statement by his Communications Manager, Mr Maxwell Adeleye, added, “We Yoruba people must now move forward to accomplish our Yoruba nation’s self-determination by holding a referendum. A referendum is exactly like a regular election in which people line up at voting stations to vote for a candidate.
“I want a Yoruba Republic separate from Nigeria. Each voter will be able to vote yes or no. That is the Yoruba nation referendum.
“But we Yorubas need to take some steps before we can get our referendum. The first step is to make a strong statement loud and clear that we Yorubas want a referendum. The best peaceful way to make that statement is to circulate a petition among us that we want a referendum.”
Others who signed the petition with Akintoye and Ighoho are Imam of Yoruba in Ilorin, Kwara State, Shielk Raheem Aduranigba; Leader of Obinrin Oodua Agbaye, Chief Simisade Kuku; Leader of Yoruba Strategy Alliance, Babatunde Omololu; General Secretary of Ilana Omo Oodua, George Akinola, and 44 others.
Other government officials petitioned are Comptroller General of Customs, Hammid Alli; Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba; Chief of Army Staff, Farouk Yahaya; former Chief of Airforce, Sadiq Abubakar; former Commandant-General of NSCDC, Ahmed Abubakar Audi; Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Services, Mohammed Babandede and the Commandant-General of NSCDC, Abdulahi Gana Muhammadu.