Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives on Monday said the Nigerian Police is not above the laws of the land, and that they must be accountable to its citizens.
He stated this during the House Plenary Session which was held in Abuja.
“We will 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,” he said.
“They are servants of the people. The police are not above the law, they are its guardians. As we endeavour to hold our nation’s police to higher standards of professional conduct, we must also make sure we provide for the welfare of the men and women in uniform.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has appealed to #EndSARS protesters not to allow the protests to be hijacked by hoodlums seeking to cause chaos in the country.
The Speaker noted the efforts of the protesters in making their demand heard and has called for discussions on the way forward.
The Speaker also promised to address the problem of police brutality in the country which includes drafting new legislation that enables a system to hold police officers accountable for their conduct in the performance of their duties.
According to Gbajabiamila, the draft legislation which will be enacted in collaboration with the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will be ready for consideration within 30 days.
He also emphasized the commitment of the National Assembly to ensure that the abuses of the past never reoccur.
On the 2021 budget, the Speaker explained that he will not sign a budget that does not include adequate provisions to compensate those who have suffered violence and brutality at the hands of the police in the last two decades.
Gbajabiamila also said he will not sign off on a budget that does meet the reasonable demand of ASUU. He said the current system has done a great disservice to the Nigerian student and that the NASS is committed to changing it so the universities become a citadel where innovation thrives and excellence is a given.
The Speaker also promised that he, together with his colleagues, will visit families of those who have lost their loved ones to police brutality.
He said he will support the amendment of the constitution to ensure that the provisions of the fundamental human rights have teeth. He also said that resource control is dealt with equitably and that the next generation of Nigerians will not inherit evident dysfunctions of Nigeria’s current system.