In a statement, the office of the ICC prosecutor said it had received information on alleged crimes.
The examination will “assess whether the legal criteria for opening an investigation under the Rome Statute are met”.
For weeks crowds of peaceful protesters gathered in streets in major towns of the country to demonstrate against police brutality, leading to a crackdown.
Some 51 civilians, 11 police officers and seven soldiers were killed, according to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
Rights group Amnesty International said security forces opened fire on protesters, killing and injuring a number of people. Both the police and the army have rejected Amnesty’s allegation.
The ICC said it would make findings of the preliminary examination public.