Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a non-governmental and non-profit organization based in Lagos, Nigeria, has written a petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC), requesting its Prosecutor Mrs. Fatou Bensouda to investigate and probe 11 Nigerian governors over allegation of committing crimes against humanity involving tens of thousands of Nigerians for failing salaries.
The 11 governors dragged to the ICC by the group includes Rauf Agbesola of Osun State, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State , Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Simon Lalong of Plateau State.
SERAP, whose aims is to promote transparency and accountability in the public and private sectors through human rights, in the petition dated July u, 2016, argued that the failure of the 11 governors to pay workers’ salaries had occasioned severe deprivation, mental and physical health challenges to workers in their states, which it argued fell within the definition of crimes against humanity.
It also added that “SERAP also contends that the gross violations of human rights and deplorable standard of living of many workers and their families in several states of Nigeria are grave and therefore suggest reasonable grounds justifying a preliminary investigation by the ICC Prosecutor.”
It should be noted that several governors are at logger head with labour union over unpaid workers salaries in their states.
Below is a list of the states and the number of months of unpaid wages :
- Ekiti (6 months )
- Ondo (about 5 months)
- Kwara (6-8 months)
- Osun (6 months)
- Oyo (6 months)
- Plateau (4 months)
- Benue (owed about 14 months’ salaries, recently paid 4 months )
- Bauchi (2-6 months)
- Rivers (about 5 months)
- Bayelsa (8-13 months)
- Kogi (about 5 months)