Contrary to reports in some media, the UK parliament did not reject sanction against Nigerian government over its violent clamp down on protesters against police brutality.
This is what happened so far, following some 220,000 signatories to an online petition, British MPs on Monday debated the issue and made recommendations to UK government to consider imposing sanctions including visa restriction and asset seizures of Nigerian officials involved in the alleged excessive use of force against peaceful protesters during last month’s anti-police brutality demonstrations and for the UK to stop providing training to Nigerian security personnel.
The petition is just to force a debate on the issue, for MPs to share their views and make recommendations, the government is under no obligation to take any action called for by the petition hence the notion that the government rejected the recommendation is a misrepresentation of the process.
In 2011, the government moved all petitions for debate online with a condition that any petition reaching more than 100,000 signatures should be debated by MPs.
There is now a dedicated website where British Citizens or UK residents can launch their petitions, and a parliamentary committee to examine them.
Once a petition hits that magic number, the issue is debated in Westminster Hall – part of the Houses of Parliament away from the main Commons chamber – by MPs and a government minister responds.
The Nigerian petition awaits formal government response to the debate.
Meanwhile, Nigeria government has reached out to the UK government to present its own side of the story according to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama. He disclosed that the federal government has reached out to the British government over the threat to impose sanctions on Nigerian officials for their roles in the #EndSARS protests.