The International Criminal Court (ICC) has started investigating the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, for statements he reportedly made about the Igbos in the build-up to the 2015 Lagos governorship election.
On Sunday, April 5, 2015, Oba Akiolu vowed that Igbos in Lagos who voted against his preferred candidate, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, would die.
Ambode of the All Progressive Congress (APC) however defeated Jimi Agbaje the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in a highly contested election.
Josef Onoh, the son of a late former governor of old Anambra State, Josef Onoh, on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, had petitioned ICC on the statement and asked the world jury to investigate the threat and bring the monarch to justice.
ICC had earlier in the year acknowledged receipt of Onoh’s petition and promised to give consideration to his request.
According to Premium Times, Onoh petitioned ICC, saying he believes Akiolu’s threat amounted to a call for violence to be perpetrated against the Igbos in Lagos, in the event that Ambode loses the election, which he noted violates Article 20 of the international convention and elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.
ICC’s Head of the Information & Evidence unit in the office of the prosecutor, M.P. Dillion, in a second correspondence dated August 13 2015 to Onoh with reference number OTP-CR-140/15, said they were analyzing the situation identified in his petition with the assistance of other related communications and other available information.
Part of the letter to Onoh reads: “Under article 53 of the Rome statute, the prosecutor must consider whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court have been committed, the gravity of the crimes, whether national systems are investigating and prosecuting the relevant crimes, and the interests of justice.”
Meanwhile a group known as the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria, condemned the alleged anti-Igbo threats issued by the Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu, to Igbo in Lagos.