Preliminary examination


On 11 December 2020, the Prosecutor announced the completion of her preliminary examination of the situation in Nigeria, having concluded that there was a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed.  The next step in the judicial process is to request authorisation from the Pre-Trial Chamber to open an investigation into the situation in Nigeria.  In the interim, the Office continues to take measures to preserve the integrity of any future investigation into the situation in Nigeria.


The preliminary examination of the situation in Nigeria was made public on 18 November 2010. The OTP has received numerous communications under article 15 of the Rome Statute in relation to the situation in Nigeria. The Office has examined information regarding a wide range of alleged crimes committed on the territory of Nigeria since 2010. While the Office's preliminary examination has primarily focused on alleged crimes committed by Boko Haram since July 2009 and by the Nigerian Security Forces since the beginning of the non-international armed conflict between the Nigerian Security Forces and Boko Haram since June 2011, it has also examined alleged crimes falling outside the context of this conflict. Since 2015, the preliminary examination also focused on the existence and genuineness of national proceedings in relation to these crimes.  The Office has found that the alleged crimes identified would currently be admissible, and thus there was a reasonable basis for investigation, subject to judicial authorisation.