Members of the UK Parliament on Monday debated a petition seeking to impose sanctions on President Muhammadu Buhari and other Nigerian officials involved in the killing of peaceful #EndSARS protesters in Lagos on October 20.
President Buhari has yet to hold any of his military or political appointees to account since the killing of protesters by Nigerian soldiers on October 20 at Lekki Toll Gate.
The administration has also targeted hundreds of citizens, who took part in the protests for arrest, intimidation, and travel restrictions.
At the debate, which took place at the Westminster Hall with Theresa Villiers, a member of the British Conservative Party, who served as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2019 to 2020, the lawmakers demanded sanctions on government officials and security agents such as visa ban, freezing of assets and stopping the funding and training for the Nigeria Police Force.
They condemned the shooting at the toll gate and insisted that Nigerian officials should not enjoy in the UK the liberties they deny their citizens at home.
The Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet constituency said, “I believe the petitioners have a credible case for the imposition of individualised sanctions such as travel bans and asset freezes.”
She said the UK Government must explain the role of the government in training security agents, who end up abusing the rights of Nigerian citizens.
Member of Parliament for West Ham, Lyn Brown, said it was unfortunate that the Nigerian Government went ahead to not only accuse protesters of sponsoring terrorism and freezing their accounts but also blamed them for the increase in food prices.
The Minister for Africa was absent from the proceedings but his representative said that he will await the outcome of the judicial panels of inquiries into the shooting.
“Work is underway to consider how a global corruption sanction regime could be added to the government’s armoury,” a representative for the Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, said.
“This government will continue to press the Nigerian government and its security services to uphold human rights and the rule of law, to investigate all incidents of brutality, illegal detentions and the use of excessive force and to hold those responsible to account.
“We will closely monitor the judicial panel of inquiries and continue to advocate for investigations into police brutality. The government will consider its options as the panel’s work progresses.”
The debate was sequel to a petition started by Silas Ojo, which had garnered over 200,000 signatures, crossing the 100,000 mark needed for a petition to be debated by the lawmakers