June 13, 2024

Omoyele Sowore, the African Action Congress (AAC) candidate in the 2019 and 2023 presidential elections, emphasized the necessity of holding former President Muhammadu Buhari accountable for the alleged crimes he committed during his tenure in Nigeria, including human rights violations and enforced disappearances.

Speaking at an event marking the 2023 International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance in Abuja, Sowore expressed his desire to see former President Buhari face consequences for his actions, either within Nigeria or at the International Criminal Court (ICC). He highlighted the disparity between how leaders are treated in Nigeria compared to more developed nations, where leaders facing criminal charges are arrested and prosecuted.

Sowore pointed out that the United States, the source of Nigeria’s democracy and human rights principles, has had a democratic system for two centuries, citing examples of former President Donald Trump facing multiple charges. In contrast, Nigerian leaders accused of corruption and human rights abuses receive favorable receptions, even after leaving office.

He criticized the Nigerian government for sponsoring Buhari’s medical check-up in London instead of potentially sending him to the ICC, highlighting the severe human rights violations that occurred during Buhari’s administration, such as the alleged summary execution of individuals labeled as IPOB members and the killing of Shiite members in Zaria.

Sowore emphasized the need for accountability, stating that Nigerian leaders must be held responsible for their actions, whether in or out of office. He expressed his hope to witness Buhari facing consequences for his alleged crimes, emphasizing that crimes like enforced disappearance have no statute of limitations and can be punished at any time.

Sowore stressed that this accountability applies to individuals within the military, police, DSS (Department of State Services), or any Nigerian security agency, asserting that those who have acted against the interests of the Nigerian people will eventually face consequences for their actions, even after retirement.

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