Edo Jail Break: Police Rearrest Four Escapees

File photo of a Police patrol van.

 

The Nigeria Police Force has re-arrested four persons who escaped from the Oko Prison in Edo State during the #EndSARS protest.

The suspects who were arrested for alleged armed robbery and car snatching in Kaduna confirmed that they were all part of the over 1000 prisoners who escaped from different correctional facilities in Edo State.

They include Adebayo Opeyemi, Onos Benjamin, Peter Felix, and Hudu Musa.

Parading the suspects on Monday in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, explained that Opeyemi, a dismissed military man escaped and joined the group to form a new team.

READ ALSO: Troops Kill Two Bandits, Rescue 39 Travellers Abducted In Kaduna

Also, Benjamin who was on death row and awaiting execution admitted snatching a car 30 minutes after escaping from prison to aid his escape out of the state before selling the car to his contact in Niger Republic.

For Musa, the Force spokesman said he specialized in selling off stolen cars to border communities and had nine months left off his prison term before he escaped.

He also explained that the four escapees had formed a dangerous gang that started off where they stopped in crime before their convictions.

This comes a month after armed men stormed the correction facility in Oko, popularly known as the Oko prison.

Woman Tells Panel How SARS Bullet Shattered Her Leg

 

 

A petitioner, Mrs. Hannah Olugbodi, a hairstylist who now walks with the aid of crutches, on Saturday told the Lagos #EndSARS Panel how she was hit by a stray bullet on June 6, 2018.

On that date, she returned home from work with her husband and children before collecting money from her husband to buy pepper to make dinner. As she went to the market she heard gunshots.

“I was hit by a stray bullet and I remember passing out, I woke up in a car at LUTH,” she said. “I was in so much pain.”

She said after being given four bags of drip, she realised she couldn’t move her left leg.

She shouted, “My God, why me?”

READ ALSO: ‘I Want Help For My Children’s Education’, Petitioner Tells Lagos Panel

The doctor told her that saving the leg was 50/50 and that it could be amputated.

She said four surgeries were recommended.

“The first was to put a metal in the leg, the second was to cut parts of the bone which the bullet had cut to fragments because it wouldn’t survive. The 3rd surgery was a skin graft,” she said.

At this point of her testimony, the petitioner showed the court the extent of her injuries. She said she is still in pain and her entire life has since changed, all because of a stray bullet.

She also testified that she’s not been able to work, feed her children or perform basic chores. Her husband has had to sell his land to pay for her treatments.

She said she spent six months at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, and no police official visited. She said at a point, the hospital threatened to stop treating her after she ran out of money.

The petitioner presented a lot of hospital bills and documents in support of her case. She also presented photos of her injuries detailing every stage of her surgeries.

According to her, she wrote letters to the Lagos State Government and the Ministry of Justice seeking for assistance and redress but got no response.

The panel admitted the letters in evidence as exhibits.

The witness said she requires further plastic surgery so her legs can be “balanced”.

Under cross-examination by counsel to the police, Joseph Eboseremen, she admitted that she did not write any letter to the Commissioner of Police. The counsel also asked if she has any of the pellets extracted from her leg at LUTH to which she replied, “the bullet scattered my bone.”

And even though she said she has no ballistic report, she was emphatic that the gunshots came from a SARS official.

At the prompting of the police counsel, her husband, Oluwaseun Olugbodi was called to also testify.

He said he heard the gunshots and watched the scene from his balcony. Neighbors then came to tell him his wife had been shot.

He recounted how they went round different hospitals, from the Igbobi Hospital, to the military hospital before they were accepted at LUTH where he was told that his wife’s leg would be amputated if he didn’t provide money for her treatment on time. He said he then ran around family and friends trying to raise money.

On how he knew that it was SARS who shot his wife, the witness said he was told by some hotel staff that the SARS officials came to a nearby hotel where a group of boys were watching football. SARS suspected that these were yahoo boys and when they resisted arrest, the SARS officials shot into the air.

“It was one of those bullets that hit my wife,” he said.

He added that the DPO later confirmed it was Gbagada SARS.

When the police counsel asked if he has any evidence to show that there was any shooting on the day in question, he replied in the negative.

The case was then adjourned to December 8.

‘I Want Help For My Children’s Education’, Petitioner Tells Lagos Panel

Members of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution hold sitting on November 28, 2020 in Lekki.

 

A petitioner, Silifat Adeyemo, has testified against the police, saying her husband was shot by a SARS official on November 28, 2018.

She disclosed this on Saturday while testifying before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution in Lekki.

“He was a Level 8 official, preparing for promotion, after almost 3 years working for the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA),” she said.

Adeyemo said she expected him back home from work as usual but unknown to her, something had happened at about 6 pm.

“At 10 pm that day, my sister-in-law came to my house and told me my husband was involved in an accident. I thought we were going to the hospital but instead, we went to my family house, that was when I was told that my husband was dead,” the witness said in tears.

At this point, the witness handed over a picture of the husband’s body to the panel and it is admitted into evidence as an exhibit. The panel also admitted in evidence the autopsy report.

READ ALSO: ‘Policemen Beat Me Till I Peed On Myself’: Woman Tells Lagos Panel

She further testified that the SARS Official who shot her husband is one Olonode Olakunle.

According to the petitioner, to get to her business every day she still passes the route where her husband was killed and relives the trauma of his passing every time.

In her testimony, she admitted that her husband was a very popular man and after he was killed, boys in the area gathered to beat up the SARS official involved.

The official, she learned he was later rescued by the police.

She however said no punishment to the SARS officer can bring her husband back.

When asked what she wants the panel to do for her, she said that her husband left her with three children, including a set of twins, adding that his aged parents were also left without their breadwinner.

She called on the panel to help with her children’s education.

During cross-examination, the counsel to the police, Joseph Eboseremen, said that the SARS official involved was not just beaten up by boys and officials of LASTMA, he was also lynched to death.

The counsel also asked if she did not receive a N10m compensation from the Lagos State Government.

Responding, the petitioner agreed that she did but noted that the compensation was not from the Nigeria Police.

When the counsel tries to suggest that this was the compensation agreed on and the petitioner is not entitled to more, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi asked him to bring proof of this and adjourned further proceedings till December 11.

‘Policemen Beat Me Till I Peed On Myself’: Woman Tells Lagos Panel

 

An #EndSARS protester, Felicia Okpara, has testified against the police, saying she was brutalized by officers simply for recording the violence that took place during one of the protests in the Surulere area of Lagos State.

She said this on Friday while narrating her ordeal to the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution.

Okpara told the panel that she had just concluded an interview in the area and was heading back home when she saw the protest and decided to join.

Shortly after, she heard gunshots and people started scampering for safety.

According to her, after running towards a police station, she decided to record the incident but was accosted by a police officer who asked why she was recording and ordered her to stop.

Refusing his orders, the said officer pulled out a gun on her while another joined in and both forcefully dragged herself and another lady to the police station nearby.

Read Also: Maina’s Case: Court Grants Ndume Bail

On getting there, several officers including women started beating and punching them. According to her, the beating was so much that she lost control and urinated on herself.

“While the beating was going on, I lost control of my body and my phone fell on the ground and one of them used his leg to smash it because he believed I was recording with it and I was going to pot it on the internet.

“While we were still at that gate, some were coming out, they joined the beating. Dragged me inside, that was where I lost control of my body, I peed on myself. I managed to get a hold of the phone because I knew that was the only thing I had,” Okpara said, fighting back tears.


Watch the full video of her testimony below.

#EndSARS: UK Parliament Does Not Speak For British Govt – FG

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, made the position of the Federal Government known while addressing reporters on Wednesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

 

The Nigerian government has reacted to the deliberations on the recent #EndSARS protest by the United Kingdom parliament.

It stated that while debates on all matters were allowed, the UK parliament does not speak for the British government.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, made the position of the Federal Government known while addressing reporters on Wednesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

According to him, the Nigerian Government is in communication with the United Kingdom and has informed the British authorities of its side of the situation, especially as it relates to the shooting at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos.

[READ ALSO] #EndSARS: UK Parliament Wants Nigerian Officials, Security Agencies Sanctioned For Rights Abuses

“On the issue of the UK parliament, yes, we have reached out to the UK government on this question.

“The meeting that took place was of parliamentarians, they don’t speak for the UK government and the UK government which acts for the United Kingdom has also heard the side of the (Nigerian) government regarding everything that happened,” Onyeama said.

He added, “So we are in touch with them and engaging with them but, of course, as in any democracy, the members of parliament are able to also air their views but what is important is that a balanced picture is made available to them all before they take any decision.”

The minister briefed State House correspondents at the end of the 25th virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

He also noted that he had recently paid a visit to his home state, Enugu, on the instruction of the President to engage with the youths and leaders on the #EndSARS protests.


Watch the video of the UK parliament’s deliberation to which the Nigerian government is reacting below:


The minister revealed that governors of the South East were already reaching out to their contemporaries across the country to ensure that the lives and properties of the people of the region were protected during any crisis.

He added that the leaders have given an assurance that they would do the same for non-indigenes in the South East.

A file photo of EndSARS protesters.

 

Onyeama made the remarks in reaction to the call by UK parliamentarians for sanction against Nigerian authorities and security agencies over human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings during the #EndSARS protests which held in October in various parts of Nigeria.

On Monday, a member of the UK parliament, Theresa Villers, informed the lawmakers that about 220,330 people had signed an e-petition and they have a credible case.

Members of the parliament had asked the UK government to consider imposing sanctions on Nigerian officials found culpable of human rights abuses during the demonstrations.

#EndSARS: UK Parliament Wants Nigerian Officials, Security Agencies Sanctioned For Rights Abuses

 

The Parliament of the United Kingdom on Monday held a debate following e-petitions received accusing the Nigerian government and security officials of human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings.

Theresa Villers, a member of the parliament at the opening of the debate said 220,330 people had signed the e-petition and they have a credible case.

Villers said the petition was prompted by disturbing violence in Nigeria over recent weeks and the petitioners have a credible case.

“I believe that the petitioners have a credible case for the imposition of individualised sanctions such as travel bans and assets freezing.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: UK Lawmaker Seeks Review Of Funding For Nigerian Security Agencies

“Of course I appreciate there are real sensitivities which might be considered as interfering into domestic affairs of another country especially where there was a previous colonial involvement.

“But I still hope that Ministers should give serious considerations to what the e-petitioners requests,” she said.

While condemning the suppression of peaceful protesters through travel ban and asset freezing, Villers said the plight of the Nigerian youths must never be forgotten.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Petitioner Dies One Week Before Lagos Panel Hears His Case

Another lawmaker, Kate Osamor in her contribution said the situation is a serious one and that the #EndSARS protesters are not only demanding an end to police brutality but also demanding “a truly democratic Nigeria.”

Osamor who is of Nigerian descent called for the review of the country’s funding of some security agencies and describing the #EndSARS protests as a movement peacefully demanding an end to brutality, extortion, and extrajudicial executions and for a truly democratic Nigeria.

Osamor argued that the funds used in backing Nigeria’s security agencies should be channeled to other projects.

“Today, we need to consider how the government should respond to both the movement itself and the violent actions of the Nigerian regime,” Osamor, a Labour and Co-operative lawmaker, representing Edmonton, said.

Following the debate, the lawmakers demanded the UK government to consider imposing sanctions on officials who are found culpable of human rights abuses of Nigerian citizens.

In her contribution, one of the lawmakers who said she has friends in Nigeria and they have all expressed concern concerning the issue of human rights abuses in the country said, “If those who ordered and facilitated the killings of unarmed protesters are not held accountable, then the UK government should advocate that independent investigations take place.”

The lawmakers said any individuals found responsible for these atrocities following investigations by the Nigerian government must face sanctions.

 

A Petition For Sanctions

Monday’s debate followed a petition brought to the lawmakers by one Silas Ojo, seeking  to sanction those who allegedly abused people during the protests/

As of Sunday evening, the petition had garnered 220,315 signatures, according to the UK Parliament’s website, crossing the 100, 000 mark needed for a petition to be debated by the lawmakers. 

Early last month, thousands of Nigerians thronged to the streets, calling for an end to police brutality and extra-judicial killings by the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

A largely peaceful demonstration in several parts of the country, however, later turned violent with arson, looting, and killing of security personnel and civilians alike after it was hijacked by hoodlums.

#EndSARS: UK Lawmaker Seeks Review Of Funding For Nigerian Security Agencies

 

A member of the UK Parliament, Kate Osamor, is seeking a review of the country’s funding of some Nigerian security agencies following the #EndSARS protests that rocked the West African nation. 

“Despite previously stating the opposite, the government has now admitted to funding the SARS unit in the last four years,” the member of parliament said on Monday evening during a debate on the #EndSARS protests. “That funding not only included the training to those units but the supply of equipment.”

READ ALSO: [Looting] Gov Ishaku Seeks FG’s Assistance To Rebuild Vandalized Structures

#EndSARS protesters during a candlelight procession in honour of victims of police brutality.

 

While describing the #EndSARS protests as a movement “peacefully demanding an end to brutality, extortion and extrajudicial executions and for a truly democratic Nigeria,” Osamor argued that the funds used in backing Nigeria’s security agencies should be channelled to other projects.

“Today, we need to consider how the government should respond to both the movement itself and the violent actions of the Nigerian regime,” Osamor, a Labour and Co-operative lawmaker, representing Edmonton, argued.

“However, we must also take this opportunity to look beyond sanctions to a way in which development funding is spent in Nigeria. Instead of funding corrupt security services and investing in projects which do not benefit ordinary Nigerians, we need a new focus on poverty relief and anti-corruption programmes.”

‘Incredibly Serious’

A file photo of #ENDSARS protesters.

 

The 52-year-old who was first elected into the UK Parliament in 2015 condemned the handling of the protest by the Nigerian government and believes that the #EndSARS movement was not just about the disbandment of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

READ ALSO: [#EndSARS] Petitioner Dies One Week Before Lagos Panel Hears His Case

“The situation in Nigeria is incredibly serious with tragedy after tragedy unfolding on the streets in state after state as the Nigerian government and its security forces take ever more repressive measures to end a protest movement which has given hope to millions across the globe,” she noted.

‘Youth-Led Movement’

Osamor who was born to Nigerian parents equally said, “It is a movement led by the youths of Nigeria, who took to the streets of Nigeria peacefully, demanding an end to brutality, extortion and extrajudicial executions and for a truly democratic Nigeria. The bravery of the youth-led movement would never be defeated.”

READ ALSO: [#EndSARS] British Parliament To Debate Petition Against Nigeria On Monday

On October 29th, she shared a letter from the UK Minister for Africa confirming that the UK Government “has trained and supplied equipment to SARS units from 2016 to 2020.”

“This was in support of our wider objectives to strengthen the capacity, accountability and responsiveness of the Nigerian Police Force,” the letter addressed to the Labour lawmaker stated.

“The Nigeria Policing Programme was part of our Society and Justice Reform Programme, which is working to help deliver a criminal justice system that better protects the human rights of all Nigerians.”

A Petition For Sanctions

Monday’s debate followed a petition brought to the lawmakers by one Silas Ojo, seeking  to sanction those who allegedly abused people during the protests/

As of Sunday evening, the petition had garnered 220,315 signatures, according to the UK Parliament’s website, crossing the 100, 000 mark needed for a petition to be debated by the lawmakers. 

Early last month, thousands of Nigerians thronged to the streets, calling for an end to police brutality and extra-judicial killings by the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

A largely peaceful demonstration in several parts of the country, however, later turned violent with arson, looting and killing of security personnel and civilians alike after it was hijacked by hoodlums.

Looting: Gov Ishaku Seeks FG’s Assistance To Rebuild Vandalised Structures

A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV
A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

 

Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku is appealing to the federal government and other humanitarian agencies to assist in rebuilding structures vandalized and replacing items looted by hoodlums in the wake of the #EndSARS protest that greeted the nation.

While lamenting that the state government uses its scarce resources to pay salaries and carry out other developmental plans, the governor describes the destruction as colossal and quantum, insisting that bouncing back can only take the grace of God, especially now that the country is into recession.

”Absolutely, the state government does not have the resources and definitely we will need assistance from the federal government and that’s the finality of it,” the governor said on Tuesday after an assessment of destroyed properties in the state capital, Jalingo.

”We do not have the resources and we are hoping that the federal government will come in to assist us, otherwise, we will just ground to a halt.

”You have seen the damage and the much talked about food is for those in distress especially the internally displaced persons and we kept it for eventualities as no one anticipates trouble, it is really sad indeed. It is colossal damage all over and quantum destruction.

”Talking about how we can start to repair it, I do not know because the scarce resources the state has is what is used to ensure that we keep the state functioning and with this setback, only God knows when we can be able to bounce back.”

The governor who was visibly saddened by what he saw, especially at the Hope Afresh Foundation, a skills acquisition centre belonging to his wife Anna Ishaku insists, that there should be a rethink to protests and its degenerating effect.

”It is a huge destruction and as you can see we are just from the Hope Afresh Foundation for less than one year they have trained about 1650 people on different skills, these hoodlums came and took away everything,” he explained.”It is not even about the building but equipping it.”

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Six Suspected Robbers, Rapist In Katsina

With the meagre resources available to the state government and the country going into recession Governor Ishaku says it is a sad development that will not ensure a quick rebuild.

”With this meagre resources, the country is already in recession, I think it is a very sad development that happened to us in the country,” he noted.

“Yes in a democracy, you are allowed to air your contrary views, but not in a destructive manner like this”

”We have prepared our report but with the COVID-19 pandemic that has trimmed our resources to below 55% and a very poor state like Taraba, we have been living up to expectation by paying salaries and now even if we manage to pay salaries, we will manage to do nothing else.”

READ ALSO: Katsina Governor Masari Recruits Over 4,000 Teachers

He stressed that the security architecture of the country needs to be overhauled and constitution amended to accommodate local, state and federal police for effective response in situations like this because the police were not helpful during the looting.

”As you are very much aware the security agencies are not under my control and I have said that repeatedly from day one when I resumed I said there is something defective about our constitution,” the governor said.

”When you make someone a governor, even in America where we copied the constitution from, the state has their state police, local government police and Federal police”

”In that structure, what is bigger than the local police, the state police takes over and what is bigger than the state police, the federal police takes over, but we copied the police defectively and we removed the power of the Governor from running the state police and of course you expect this kind of chaos and the reason was that the police stood watching the hoodlums perpetrate the act without hindrance.

”It is just like me in my house, anyone can pick me up now, it is very sad and the constitution has to be amended so as to serve its purpose and if it cannot serve its purpose, then it is useless.”

READ ALSO: All Nine Police Officers Missing In Katsina Rescued

He adds that the destructive manner calls for reorientation for future protests.

The governor visited warehouses belonging to late governor Danbaba Suntai, Taraba state Transport Corporation, Veterinary Clinic, Hope Afresh Foundation and Biotechnology Centre all in Jalingo, the state capital.

The looting and vandalization of warehouses took place when the governor was out of the state for an official engagement.

 

#EndSARS: Petitioner Dies One Week Before Lagos Panel Hears His Case

File photo of Lagos State Judicial Panel

 

One of the petitioners, Basil Ejiagwa who was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday at the Lagos Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of brutality by the disbanded SARS Operatives, is dead.

His cousin, Chukwu Vincent who testified before the panel said he died exactly a week ago, on the 17th of November, 2020.

Ejiagwa was listed as the third petitioner to be heard but when his case was called, his counsel Olalekan Gazali told the panel that “the petitioner is no more, we lost him last week as a result of the torture meted to him by SARS.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Senate Urges FG To Give 1% VAT To States Affected By Violence

“His wife came to the panel all the way from Imo State with his picture to show the state of his health but unfortunately the matter did not go on at the last sitting, the counsel said.”

Ejiagwa’s name on the list of petitioners scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, November 24.

 

The counsel further said that his client died as a result of the torture he suffered in the hands of SARS officials.

He asked the panel to allow him instead call on a family member to testify.

“He is being represented by a family member who has his death certificate, hospital bills other hospital records and is ready to testify on his behalf,” the counsel told the panel.

At this point, the counsel representing the police, Mr. Joseph Eboseremen raised an objection to the effect that, “it can’t be proven that his death was directly caused by the torture from SARS as it took place a while ago,”

The Chairman of the Panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi agrees and strikes out this statement.

The relative, Mr Chukwu Vincent, a businessman who describes himself as a cousin to the deceased is then called upon to testify.

“According to Basil, he was arrested by men of the police, on his way from work at Alaba while going home. He was taken to Igando Police Station where he spent five days. They damaged his legs while hitting him with a hammer while he was there and he was later taken to Ikeja.

“We rushed him to El-Shaddai Hospital at Iba/Igando.

“The hospital results said the ‘hitting’ was responsible. He even travelled abroad at some point and it was him who filed this matter,” the witness, Vincent testified.

Vincent added that “We noticed gashes on his head from where he claimed to have been beaten by police with their guns. He was eventually diagnosed with a brain tumor. The incident happened in 2014 and we tried to treat it till 2017. I spent my personal money too and as time went by, it got worse and he began to lose his memory.

“When his condition was too severe, the family decided to move him out of Lagos to the east, then we started searching for a good lawyer to take up the case,” the witness said.

The Panel then admitted in evidence hospital documents including photocopies of drug prescription forms and a bill of N1m for his treatment. The hospital documents came from the Lagos State Government General Hospital in Alimosho and the El-Shaddai Hospital also in the Iba/Igando area of the state.

The panel also admitted a N40million judgement the deceased obtained in his favour from the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Through the witness, the family is appealing to the panel to help enforce the judgment against the police. The judgment was said to have been delivered on the 16th of April 2019.

#EndSARS: Senate Urges FG To Give 1% VAT To States Affected By Violence

A file photo of cars burnt by hoodlums during the violence in Lagos on October 21, 2020.

 

The Nigerian Senate has called on the Federal Government to allocate one percent of the Value Added Tax (VAT) to states affected by violence and looting during and after the #EndSARS protest that held across the nation in October.

The lawmakers are adopting this resolution after considering two motions moved by Senators Abiodun Olujimi and Gershom Bassey.

The lawmakers noted that private and public assets destroyed by hoodlums in Lagos State were estimated to be in the range of over N1 trillion by the state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Senate Urges FG To Give 1% VAT To States Affected By Violence

They said a Television station, BRT buses, and about 25 police stations were burnt in the state.

Mr Bassey in his submission decried the looting of warehouses in Calabar and the attack on the residence of some serving and past federal lawmakers, WAEC office, among others.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: British Parliament To Debate Petition Against Nigeria 

“Cross River State being a predominantly Civil Service State may not overcome the effects of the invasion since the destroyed state infrastructure were built from lean state resources over years,” Bassey told the House.

Senator Sani Musa in his contribution said, “ENDSARS came as a peaceful protest but turned violent. It started in Lagos and later spread to other states which led to the destruction of homes, businesses, and government offices. It is very unfortunate.

“The government needs to rebuild what was destroyed and pay compensation as well. It is their responsibility.”

The Senate in response also asked the Federal Government to set up a visitation panel to the various states destroyed by hoodlums across Nigeria for evaluation.

They also directed the committees on National Security, Defence, and Police to investigate the attacks by the hoodlums and how to prevent a recurrence.

#EndSARS: British Parliament To Debate Petition Against Nigeria On Monday

A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (right centre) delivering his 2020 Spring budget statement in the House of Commons in London on March 11, 2020.  JESSICA TAYLOR / UK PARLIAMENT / AFP

 

The British Parliament will on Monday debate a petition seeking to sanction the Nigerian government and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) over alleged human rights abuses during the #EndSARS protests. 

“Parliament will debate this petition on November 23, 2020,” the Parliament posted on its website, explaining that the debate would be led by Theresa Villiers at the Westminster Hall between 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm. “You will be able to watch online on the UK Parliament YouTube channel.”

READ ALSO: [#EndSARS] LCC Footage Shows Several Military Trucks Deployed To Lekki Tollgate

According to the debate pack captioned “E-petition 554150, relating to Nigeria and the sanctions regime,” the Parliament equally referenced the shooting of #EndSARS demonstrators at the Lekki Toll Gate on the 20th of October, 2020 as one its press articles.

 

A photo of #ENDSARS protesters.

 

“On 6 July, the Government established the Global Human Rights sanctions regime by laying regulations in Parliament under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018,” the post further noted.

“In a statement to Parliament, the Foreign Secretary set out in full the scope of the UK’s new Global Human Rights sanctions regime. He announced the first tranche of designations, as well as the Government’s approach to future designations.

“This sanctions regime will give the UK a powerful new tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses. The sanctions regime is not intended to target individual countries. It will allow for sanctions to be imposed on individuals and entities involved in serious human rights violations or abuses around the world.”

READ ALSO: [Lekki Shooting:] Army Admits Live, Blank Bullets Were Taken To Protest Venue

The petition created by Silas Ojo sought to get 100,000 signatures. It has garnered 220,315 signatures, according to the UK Parliament’s website, crossing the 100, 000 mark needed for a petition to be debated by the lawmakers. 

 

#EndSARS protesters during a candlelight procession in honour of victims of police brutality.

 

Early last month, thousands of Nigerians thronged to the streets, calling for an end to police brutality and extra-judicial killings by the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

A largely peaceful demonstration in several parts of the country, however, later turned violent with arson, looting and killing of security personnel and civilians alike after it was hijacked by hoodlums.

‘We Have To Go After The Hoodlums’: Amaechi Wants Attackers Of NPA H/Q Punished

A damaged portion of the NPA headquarters. Photo: [email protected] Rotimi Amaechi.

 

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has called for the arrest and prosecution of those behind the attack on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s headquarters in Lagos State.

“We toured the H/Q today & it wasn’t a good sight. If people are arrested for the crime perpetrated, they will not do it again. We have to go after the hoodlums & ensure they pay,” the former Rivers State governor said during a tour of the facility on Sunday.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS Curfew Lifted In Akwa Ibom

While he admitted that protests are legitimate, Amaechi condemned those who hide under the guise of demonstrations to destroy public and private properties.

“The right to protest is defined in the laws of the land, it doesn’t include burning people’s private houses and public assets that belong to every Nigerian,” he added.

 

He described the damage as disastrous, recalling that he had been part of protests as a student but explained that they did not take the laws into their hands during those demonstrations.

“If you remember in 1983, during the time of Babangida and Buhari, we were always on the streets as students, we never took laws into our hands and we never destroyed people’s property,” the minister said.

He said with the level of destruction, NPA should come to the cabinet and ask for funds for the reconstruction of the place.

The NPA headquarters was part of the properties attacked by hoodlums in Lagos State in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.

Early last month, thousands of Nigerians thronged to the streets, calling for an end to police brutality and extra-judicial killings by the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

A largely peaceful demonstration in several parts of the country, however, later turned violent with arson, looting and killing of security personnel and civilians alike after it was hijacked by hoodlums.