17 November 2020
Chi Onwurah, the MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, today presented a petition against the shooting of EndSARS protesters in Lagos last month.
Onwurah, born in Northumberland of a Nigerian father and an English mother from Newcastle, said when she presented the petition: “I rise to present a petition calling for the Government to rally international condemnation of police brutality in Nigeria. The petition was instigated by the Nigerian Association, Tyne and Wear.
The petition states:
‘The petition of residents of the constituency of Newcastle Upon Tyne Central,
Declares that the British Government and wider international community should condemn in the strongest possible terms the Nigerian military opening fire on protesters at Lagos Lekki Toll Gate on 20 October 2020 in which there are reports that 69 people were killed, of whom 51 are believed to be civilians, 11 police officers and seven were soldiers; further declares that these people were peacefully protesting against police brutality committed by, but not limited to, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to take action to rally the international community and ensure the Nigerian Government investigates this brutal violation of human rights in full, to encourage the relevant authorities to charge officers and soldiers guilty of killing unarmed protestors, to explore sanctions on the Nigerian Government if guilty of corruption, and to provide a strong voice against corruption and violence in Nigeria.'”
Onwurah said in a press statement: “The Nigerian diaspora in Newcastle is rightly concerned about police brutality in Nigeria, as well as corruption and lack of democratic accountability. I am pleased to have the opportunity to present this important petition and hope the Government will take action.”