A United Kingdom parliamentarian, Kate Osamor, on Tuesday, strongly recommended UK’s withdrawal of military, intelligence, and development assistance to Nigerian Government over allegations of human rights violation by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.
Osamor made the call after UK parliament, on Monday, debated the alleged unsavory developments in Nigeria which is associated with the #EndSARS protests and a petition calling for the implementation of sanctions against the Nigerian Government and its officials.
The petition was filed by one Silas Ojo and has gained about 220,376 signatures on the UK parliament website as of the time of filing this report.
Osamor urged the UK to stop its Overseas Security And Justice Assistance (OSJA) funding for Nigeria’s security forces.
The OSJA funding is UK’s arrangement whereby it “helps other states’ justice and security systems,” and it has been on with Nigeria since 2015.
She tweeted, “The @UKLabour is calling for independent investigations into the allegations against SARS units, as well as military, security and policing forces responsible for attacks on protesters, that could lead to targeted Magnitsky-style sanctions against responsible individuals.
“We are also calling for the Government to consider suspending its OSJA funding and training of Nigerian military, security and policing organizations that may be responsible for these violations until such a time as though independent investigations have been concluded,” she tweeted.
Meanwhile, another UK parliamentarian, Wendy Morton MP, (Minister at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) had told the chambers to ensure that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration left no stone unturned in securing justice for persons whose rights have been violated .
“We welcome the dialogue between state governments and the people. We welcome the establishment of judicial panels and we will continue to monitor the investigation by the panels as well as the progress on police reforms.
“We call on the Nigerian government to uphold the rule of law, investigate human rights abuses and the use of force and hold those responsible…”
On its part, the federal government had earlier directed the state governors to establish panels of inquiry to unravel alleged brutality by security officials, and it is currently ongoing.
But the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), on November 7, condemned actions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), an agency of government, for reportedly receiving court directives to freeze accounts of some persons associated with the EndSARS protests, although some of the accounts were later reactivated.
Recall that Nigerians had used the #EndSARS hashtag to call for an end to police brutality, among other demands, on social media.