Buhari Assures ICC Of Free, Fair Elections In 2019

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at The Hague assured the international community of a free, fair and peaceful 2019 general elections in Nigeria.

The President made the disclosure while he delivered a keynote address at the Solemn Hearing to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, Mr Buhari further called on the States Parties to support the ICC with jurisdiction of over serious cases of corruption and illicit financial flows by state actors.

He said contrary to the tragic incidents that characterized the 2011 general elections, necessitating preliminary investigations by the ICC, the 2019 elections will be peaceful and transparent.

“A strong and effective ICC has the potential to send a powerful message about the international community’s commitment to accountability, a message that will be heard by both victims and perpetrators. Equally, a strong and effective ICC demonstrates the international community’s commitment to the rule of law,” he said.

“A strong and effective ICC can also act as a catalyst for other justice efforts, expanding the reach of accountability. These could include serious cases of corruption by state actors that severely compromise the development efforts of countries and throw citizens into greater poverty.

“These could also include cases of illicit financial flows where countries are complicit and obstruct repatriation of stolen assets. As the African Union Champion on Anti-corruption, these are issues dear to my heart.

“Nigeria is preparing to conduct general elections in 2019…I assure you that all hands are on deck to prevent any recurrence of such tragic incidents. We shall do everything possible to ensure that Nigeria witnesses the conduct of free, fair and peaceful elections in 2019.”

The President had commenced his address by thanking the judges of the Court for electing ‘‘a cherished son of Nigeria’’ as President.

The Nigerian leader is the only President invited to grace the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the ICC Rome Statute.

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