House of Representative Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila has said without Provision for EndSARS victims for the compensation of families and the Academic Staff union of University (ASUU) he won’t sign 2021 Appropriation Bill presently before the national Assembly
In his opening remarks at the plenary on Tuesday, the Speaker notes that the #EndSARS protests “have gotten more serious” with pockets of violence in parts of the country.
According to him, the protests “seem to have been hijacked” by those who have a different agenda.
Gbajabiamila noted that the Federal Government, through the National Human Rights Commission, had set up a panel of enquiry to take complaints from victims of police brutality.
According to the Speaker, none of these have convinced the agitators to suspend the protests.
His word: “expectations from the ruling class were high, stating that, “Our people expect action and we just deliver.”
Gbajabiamila recalled that the House, after debating the issues with the Nigeria Police Force and the #EndSARS protests, met with the Nigerian Bar Association last week.
He said the President of NBA, Olumide Apata, had also set up a panel led by Prof Deji Adekunle (SAN) to work with the House on how to amend and create laws to reform the police.
The Speaker also disclosed that the House is considering the establishment of an independent body that investigates and recommends errant security operatives for sanction and prosecution. “The police cannot be above the citizens…and above the law,” he stated.
While threatening to withhold his signature to the appropriation bill, Gbajabiamila disclosed that he would be leading a delegation of lawmakers to pay condolence visits to families of some of those killed by the police, stressing that they would be honored after the visits.
Meanwhile the Senate has requested president Mohammadu Buhari to address Nigerians immediately on the current nationwide protest coming from youths against Police brutality.
This is the second time the senate is asking the president to address the nation, urban Express News had once reported a statement credited to the senate spokesman, Senator Ajijola Bashiru appealing in its resolution by the senate, asking the president to address the youths in other to douse protest against EndSARS Agitators.
The Senate also directed the police to offer protection to the #EndSARS protesters to prevent hoodlums from hijacking their genuine action.
The Senate decision was sequel to a point of order by Senator Biodun Olujimi, titled, “#EndSARS: The need for a comprehensive reform”
The federal lawmakers urged the protesters to stop their agitation on the streets while the Federal Government addresses their demands.
They also urged Buhari to immediately set up a judicial panel of enquiry made up of eminent Nigerians that would be respected by the youths to identify the notorious SARS operatives and ensure their arrest and prosecution