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Nigeria’s President Yar’adua dragged to International criminal court

International Criminal Court
Office of the Prosecutor
Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo
Post Office Box 19519
2500 CM The Hague
The Netherlands.

Also sent by email to

Also sent by fax to +31 70 515 85 55

May 19, 2009

Dear Mr. Moreno Ocampo:

The organizations listed below write to draw your urgent attention to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Gbaramatu Kingdom in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
We request that the Office of the Prosecutor open an immediate investigation into those responsible for what appears to be a systematic and widespread campaign of violence against civilians by the Armed Forces of the Nigerian government.

On Wednesday, May 13, 2009 the Nigerian military Joint Task Force (JTF) commenced the land, water and aerial bombardment of a large area in Gbaramatu Kingdom that includes the villages of Oporoza, Kurutie,
Kunukunuma, Kokodiagbene, Okerenkoko, Azama, Benikurukuru and Ubefan, under the guise of attacking a MEND militant Camp.

Residents of the villages and those visiting for a festival on the day the bombing began were forced to flee their homes and villages.

They are hiding in the bush and do not have adequate food or medical supplies. The JTF has not allowed humanitarian aid groups or journalists into the area. As of today the coordinated aerial and ground attacks by the JTF and mass starvation
Reports suggest that thousands of innocent civilians are dead already. Reports also suggest that this was a well planned attack with the possible collusion of State government officials.

Together the human rights and environmental organizations listed below urge the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor to use its power to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these crimes against humanity, includingBrigadier General Sarkin Bello who is reportedly in command of the JTF’s
operations today. Questions regarding President Yar’Adua’s involvement must also be investigated.

The killings in the Delta today can be traced back to similar massacres in 1990 in Umecheum, in Ogoni led by Major Gen Paul Okuntimo in the mid 1990’s, and the 1999 massacre in Odi under the command of Col
Agbabiaka. To-date no investigation of previous massacres has been undertaken, although each was well documented by the international NGO community, including Human Rights Watch.

The Nigerian military must be made aware that it cannot act with impunity. We respectfully request your attention and investigation. Your interest and involvement in this matter has the potential to help save
lives in the oil rich regions of the Niger Delta now and in the future.


Imani Countess for TransAfrica Forum

Patrick Bond for the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society

Environmental Justice Project

Sandy Cioffi for Sweet Crude

Bill Gallegos for Communities for a Better Environment

Jessica Lawrence for The Borneo Project

Laura Livoti for Justice in Nigeria Now

Danielle Mahonnes for the Center for Third World Organizing

Kirsten Moller for Global Exchange

Brant Olson for Rainforest Action Network

Roger Kim for Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Michelle Kinman for Crude Accountability

Steve Kretzmann for Oil Change International

John Wilner for CounterCorp

Emira Woods for Foreign Policy In Focus

Daphne Wysham for Sustainable Energy and Economy Network