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#EndSARS: I Won’t Approve 2021 budget without provisions for families of victims – Gbajabiamila

Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives on Tuesday revealed that the 2021 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly might not be signed if provisions for the compensation of the families of victims of police brutality were not included.

Gbajabiamila disclosed this at the opening of House Plenary Session which held in Abuja at the National Assembly.

“I will not sign off on a 2021 budget that does not have adequate provisions to compensate those who have suffered violence from police in the last decade,” he said.

The Speaker of the House and President of the Senate sign bills passed by the National Assembly before they are transmitted to the President for assent.

The Nigeria Police was not above the laws of the land and must be held accountable to the citizens.

He reiterated the commitment of the National Assembly to “establish a system of citizen-led accountability for the Nigerian Police Force because in a democracy we have set out to build, the police are not above the citizenry.

“We see your true cause. Please do not allow your righteous cause to be hijacked by those with base motives, who see at this moment an opportunity to pursue vendettas, to spread division, exploit the many existing fissures that exist in our society and bring our nation to its knees,” he said.

He said the Federal Government, through the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC had set up a panel of enquiry to take complaints from victims of police brutality.

The draft legislation would be enacted in collaboration with the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the NHRC which he said will be ready for consideration within 30 days.

Gbajabiamila also appealed to the #EndSARS protesters not to allow the protests to be hijacked by unscrupulous elements seeking to cause chaos in the country.

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However, the Lagos State Government announced a 24-hour curfew after hoodlums set fire to a police station in the Orile part of the state, as widespread protests continue across the country over police brutality.

Amnesty International on Monday said that police violence against protesters had continued and that at least 15 people had been killed since the protests began two weeks ago.

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