Lecture and discussion on “Introduction to international criminal law and its domestic application with a special focus on inquiries and investigations”, Abuja, Nigeria
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On 13 April 2023, the Wayamo Foundation, in collaboration with the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), held a lecture and extensive Q&A session in Abuja, Nigeria. The lecture, entitled “Introduction to International Criminal Law and its domestic application with a special focus on inquiries and investigations”, brought together NHRC staff, senior prosecutors from the Complex Casework Group, and lawyers of the International Law Department of the Ministry of Justice.
After being officially opened by Bettina Ambach, Wayamo Director, and Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, the meeting was addressed by Dapo Akande, Professor of Public International Law at the Blavatnik School of Government, Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, member of the United Nations International Law Commission and member of the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA).
Following Prof. Akande’s lively and interactive lecture, the floor was shared by Akingbolahan Adeniran, former Attorney-General of Ogun State, former investigator and trial lawyer at the ICC, and Charles Adeogun-Phillips, former Lead International Prosecutor, former Special Prosecutor Federal Republic of Nigeria, and founding Partner of Charles Anthony LLP, Lagos, who discussed international criminal investigations.
The two experts addressed various issues entailed in the investigation process, ranging from identification of witnesses, victims, suspects, informants and experts, to evidence of different types, the care required when dealing with vulnerable witnesses, and the concomitant need to ensure some degree of witness protection.
The participants shared their expertise and experience in these areas and identified some of the challenges currently being encountered by the NHRC investigative panel. To broaden the horizon of the participants, the experts drew on their in-depth knowledge of the world of international criminal tribunals to give a few concrete examples of investigations of serious human rights violations and international crimes.