UK Parliament To Emefiele: Stop Freezing Peaceful Protesters’ Accounts
The UK Parliament has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop freezing the accounts of peaceful #EndSARS promoters.
The Members of the Petitions Committee of the House of Commons made the call during a Monday debate on an e-petition filed by a Nigerian, Silas Ojo, which had over 200,000 signatures.
During the debate which took place at the Westminster Hall, the Member of Parliament for Edmonton, Kate Osamor accused the Nigerian government of perpetrating “violence” against its citizens.
Recall that the CBN under Governor Godwin Emefiele froze the accounts of #EndSARS promoters on October 20.
It later obtained a court order backing the account freezes after accusing the account holders of suspected terror financing.
But Osamor said it amounted to double standards for the government to be calling for an end to violence against protesters and at the same time freezing the accounts of activists and getting them arrested.
“The Nigerian government needs to stop freezing bank accounts of key protesters; it needs to stop illegal detentions of key protesters,” the parliamentarian warned.
Osamor berated the UK government for continuing to sell arms to Nigeria and assist with the training of SARS in the West African nation in spite of troubling reports of human rights abuses by Amnesty International and other rights groups against the now-disbanded police squad.
Member of Parliament for West Ham, Lyn Brown highlighted the atrocities committed by the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) against “thousands of innocent Nigerians over the past 28 years”.
She said it appeared to show that Nigeria has “serious problems with abuse of state power and corruption which goes way before SARS”.
She said that dressing fancifully, wearing “the wrong hairstyle”, driving a car, and playing music could attack attention from the SARS operatives who abuse the human rights of young victims without evidence.
“SARS created an environment of fear and injustice and until the protests, there was no good sign that those in power were listening or prepared to act,” Brown stated.
Read Also: #EndSARS: UK Parliament Agrees To Sanction Nigerian Leaders
“The people of Nigeria have the right to come together and call for an end to those injustices,” she said.
She said that the “peaceful, powerful actions” were however met with “horrific violence”.
She quoted a report by Amnesty International which stated that at least 56 people were killed during the #EndSARS protests across the country, with at least ten of those in Lekki.
Brown berated the fining of media organisations and the freezing of bank accounts of #EndSARS promoters by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for “supposedly financing terrorism”.
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