UK rejects sanctions against Nigeria as Labour calls for suspension of training of Nigerian forces
London, Nov. 24, 2020 (AltAfrica)-UK parliament has rejected the idea to sanction Nigerian government over reported violent clamp down on protesters against police brutality
At a debate in parliament on Monday, UK MPs said sanctions against Nigeria could hurt the population.
So they called for an independent investigation into abuses and urged the British government to target Nigerian officials who are implicated in the shooting dead of peaceful demonstrators during last month’s protests against police brutality.
The MPs repeatedly mentioned the alleged use of force by the military on protesters at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos.
They also condemned the freezing of protest organisers’ bank accounts and stressed that the right to peaceful protest was a key component of democracy.
Some of the MPs questioned the UK’s role in the training of Nigerian security forces and weapons sales to the country.
An MP who was speaking on behalf of the British minister for Africa welcomed Nigeria’s decision to investigate alleged rights violations and the disbandment of a notorious police unit – the Special Anti-Robbery Squad
But without committing to the idea of imposing sanctions, the MP said the UK would continue to press the Nigerian government to respect human rights.
Meanwhile, the Labour party has called for the UK government to consider suspending the funding and training of security forces in Nigeria,
We are also calling for the Government to consider suspending its OSJA funding and training of Nigerian military, security and policing organisations that may be responsible for these violations until such a time as though independent investigations have been concluded. 2/2— Kate Osamor| Labour – Co-operative MP| Edmonton || (@KateOsamor) November 24, 2020
The opposition party also called for independent investigation into the allegation against the disbanded Sars unit, as well as the Nigerian military , security and police forces responsible for attacks on protesters that could lead to targeted sanctions against responsible individuals
The UK parliament has debated whether the government should impose sanctions on Nigerian officials involved in the alleged excessive use of force on peaceful protesters during last month’s anti-police brutality demonstrations.
The vote, which has no legal power, was the result of a petition brought before the parliament which was signed by more than 220,000 people.
The Nigerian authorities have continued to deny that security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters.