The ICC has said it will take into consideration the allegations levelled against Patience by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The APC had written a petition to the ICC over an alloyed inciting statement made by Mrs. Jonathan in which she told supporters of her party, the Peoples Democratic Party, to stone anybody that calls for ‘change.’ Change is the campaign slogan of the APC.
Although there had been several inciting political statements in the past, that of Patience received widespread condemnation because it was made after a Peace Accord was signed by her husband, Jonathan Goodluck, the APC presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and 12 other presidential candidates.
Incidentally, Patience’s hometown in the Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State has (prior to her statement) witnessed a high incidence of violence especially during APC rallies and the party has always been quick to accuse the President’s wife of sponsoring the attacks.
In one of such rallies, there was a stampede resulting in the injuring of over 30 APC supporters while a policeman was killed. A journalist with Channels Television was also stabbed in the neck.
Acknowledging the APC’s petition via an e-mail sent to our correspondent through the Office of the Prosecutor, the international court wrote, “Under Article 15 of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor of the ICC may receive information on crimes within the jurisdiction on the court.
“With regards to your enquiry, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
can confirm receipt of the communication referred to since the sender of the communication has made this fact public in the media.
The office will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as it does with all such communications.”
The Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, said the ICC could not summon Patience until violence breaks out on account of what she said.
He said, “It is pertinent to note that, first of all, if they (APC) were a little better educated and had a better understanding of international law and how the ICC works, they would appreciate the fact that no individual is ever taken to the ICC based on what he or she has said unless and until people act on those words and massacre others.
It is only if that speech is followed by violence and mayhem or if it incites people to commit violence, which results in death, mass murder and crimes against humanity, that the person who indulged in such hate speech becomes an eligible candidate for the ICC.”
It yet remains unclear if the ICC will prosecute Patience but the conduct of the elections might determine the outcome of the court’s verdict.
Already, the National Human Rights Commission has urged security agencies to be on the alert in three states which might experience outbreak of violence.
It is no surprise that the three states are Lagos, Kaduna and Rivers, which is the first lady’s home state.
Patience Jonathan; the first wife of a sitting President to be investigated by ICC… Is this right ? Please tell us what are your thoughts about this…