12 Reasons Islamic Movement (IMN) Should File Case at International Criminal Court (ICC)

12 Reasons Why the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Should Immediately File a Case at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to Probe and Take Legal Actions on the Zaria Massacre and Why Going to ICC at The Hague Could be the Only Way for the IMN to Get Justice.

By Abdul-Hussain Khadimul Qa’eem,

1. The Kaduna State governor has already passed his verdict on the killings. Therefore it would be hard for any government inquiry to produce unbiased report.

2. The President himself commented and implied that the activities of the IMN is “state within a state”. Again this means the IMN are been flogged to bear blame and therefore any inquiry would hardly be unbiased or give justice. If inquiries and courts cannot give justice in Nigeria, then there no other channel left in Nigeria to explore for justice as violence/use of force would be very counterproductive and suicidal for a minority group.

3. The Nigerian judiciary presently suffer setbacks. It’s verdicts have been disobeyed by the security forces and that has been justified by the President. Bails were not granted to prominent prisoners in spite of court orders. That leaves the courts in Nigeria powerless and waste of time in the current APC dispensation.

4. If the Islamic Movement goes to the ICC at The Hague, the Islamic Movement will either get justice or puncture the credibility of the ICC, if the ICC denies for justice to be done. The Zaria killings will therefore be a major test on the ICC and at an international scale and level.

5. The case at the ICC to probe the Zaria killings will be of high interest to western countries including the USA.

6. The ICC itself would be more than happy to use Tukur Burutai as “scapegoat” to build on its credibility. Burutai is not a head of state. The Western countries would not oppose the ICC to put Burutai on trial and punish him if/when found guilty for crimes against humanity because it will set a positive image for the legal fight for human rights in Africa while at the same time maintaining good relations with the Nigerian government at least for some time assuming both the governor of Kaduna and the President gave no idea for the actions of the military. Regardless, the ICC has put on trial and punished heads offstage before and they would be more than glad to do that again.

7. The USA itself stopped selling weapons to the Nigerian military because of human rights abuses and the heavy handed use of force on civilians. The Human Rights Watch have also issued reports critical of the Nigerian military for human rights abuses. The Human Rights Watch issued a report on the Zaria massacre of December, 2015 that the army attack was unjustified. The Zaria killings probed by the ICC will give the USA the right means to pressure the Nigerian military further. A sort of common interests by coincidence for both the Islamic Movement and the USA.

8. This is a very big opportunity for the IMN. The popularity of the IMN (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) will increase dramatically. The international media which has largely been mute on the Zaria massacre will turn the limelight on the IMN and its case at the ICC.

9. The IMN will remove every doubt in the minds of gullible people both within and outside Nigeria that they are not violent or terrorists as some gullible Nigerians think thanks to propaganda and prejudices against Muslims generally thanks to the bad image Salafism and its terror groups have given to Muslims and Islam generally. The world will see the IMN as a movement that believes in peace and the rule of law. Even after the heavy killings of its members, the IMN would be seen as following a peaceful and credible path towards justice. And going by the corruption image the international community sees Nigeria withe, breaking out of the Nigerian system and going abroad to seek justice will portray the IMN as a group that doesn’t believe in corruption and therefore wants to escape it at home.

10. The Bosnian Muslims got justice at The Hague and Serbian warlords and military generals, and the former president of Serbia Slobodan Milosevich, who were all Christians, were imprisoned at The Hague for committing crimes against humanity against Bosnian Muslims. Liberian President Charles Taylor got tried and punished with imprisonment at The Hague. Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir is in hiding from an arrest warrant issued by The Hague for the killings of Africans in Darfur. Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, is also running from an arrest warrant issued by the ICC and cannot travel freely around the world as he could be arrested by governments of other countries.

11. Going to The Hague even if they don’t give the expected justice is victory in itself. Just simply going is a moral victory! Just the idea that a Shia Muslim group is going to an international court against a military renowned for human rights violations is a big victory. The ICC is a place that tyrants are scared of going to.

12. This is a chance for the IMN to project to the entire world the message of Karbala: sacrifice for humanity!The IMN will tell the world it’s own side of the story and that they are at the ICC to fight for the oppressed and human rights of all those Nigerians killed extra judicially by the military. It’s a legal fight for humanity and the right and value of the Nigerian persons life just as Imam Hussain stood for social justice against tyranny and thereby defended human rights and the freedom of choice.

A word is enough for the wise. Filing a legal suit at the ICC in The Hague is a move that should be done quickly. The earlier the better.