OrderPaperToday – President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has kept mum on the Lekki killing of #EndSARS protesters last Tuesday in a new statement on recent upheavals in the country.
Mr. Lawan however promised that the National Assembly will ensure justice is served for victims of alleged abuses by operatives of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a controversial unit in the Nigeria Police Force.
This new statement by Lawan is coming four days after the President, Muhammadu Buhari finally addressed Nigerians on the #EndSARS nationwide protests that snowballed into violence after hoodlums hijacked the street demonstrations.
Prior to the President’s address, the Senate on three occasions discussed alleged cases of police brutality owing to protests against it that had spread across the country.
This is the second public comment by Lawan after the Lekki incident which left some youths dead and many injured after men in army fatigue opened fire on peaceful protesters.
The first was after he met with security chiefs and appealed to the protesters to leave the streets since government was already addressing their demands.
In a statement released on Monday morning and signed by himself, Lawan assured that SARS officers found guilty of police brutality will be prosecuted and sanctioned.
The statement reads: “I want to seize this opportunity to re-assure our youths that the National Assembly will collaborate with the Executive to ensure justice for victims of misconduct and rights abuses by personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police.
“In the same vein, to discourage impunity, we will insist that the perpetrators of the alleged abuses be prosecuted and sanctioned as appropriate.
“We will also work with the Executive to ensure that the five-point demands of the #EndSARS protesters which the government has committed itself to are fully implemented.
“In spite of the unfortunate hijack of the protests against police brutality by hoodlums to unleash horrifying violence, arson, looting and wanton destruction of public and private property on the country, we will ensure that government fulfills the commitment it has made to the well-meaning agitators for police reform and good governance.
“The National Assembly is fully committed to putting the necessary legislation in place for comprehensive reform of the Police to enhance their institutional integrity and efficiency.”
Lawan in the statement condoled victims of the “reprehensible violence and criminality witnessed in the last few days in many parts of the country.”
He equally sympathised with families of security and law enforcement agents “who have made the Supreme sacrifices in the course of their service to their fatherland.”
The President of the red chamber then called for a “thorough investigation of every criminal act that we have witnessed in the past few weeks with a view to bringing to justice all those elements who have so callously destroyed public and private property.”
He asked the youths to join hands with the authorities in bringing an urgent cessation to the violence while security agents were urged to restore law and order across the country and bring the criminals to justice.
“While still grappling with the havoc of COVID-19, the country can ill afford yet another epidemic that has now appeared in the form of the lawlessness that is going on.
“I thank you all for your wise counsel to the protesting youths to embrace peace and for Government to be open and sincere in addressing the issues that the youths have raised so clearly”, he added.
OrderPaperNG learns that Lawan’s failure to speak directly to the Lekki killing even when many members of the senate and house of representatives, including Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, have condemned the act, is causing concerns among legislators.