#EndSARS: We Can Submit A Petition To The National Assembly

October 20, 2020

Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.

If the president is not moving fast with police reforms, we can submit a petition to the National Assembly.

24-hour Curfew

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has imposed a 24-hour curfew on all parts of Lagos State as from 4 pm, 20th October 2020. He also added that only essential service providers and first responders “must be found on the streets”.

What is particularly interesting about this curfew is that the governor did not state from where he was drawing the powers to impose the curfew. Granted that he is the Chief Executive Officer of the state, a statewide curfew order must still derive from laws and constitutional powers.

This was, well, a proclamation – and one that security officers will be happy to follow.

Violence Amidst The End SARS Protests

For 12 days now, the EndSARS protests have been ongoing relatively peacefully across different cities in Nigeria. But over the past few days, the protests have turned violent in some parts of Nigeria, with rival terror gangs using the protests as a cover to cause mayhem.

Flowing from this, the Lagos State Governor stated that he had to impose the curfew so that anarchy would not descend on the state. Remember that the Edo State Governor also imposed a similar curfew yesterday after news broke that prisoners had escaped prison in Benin City, Edo State.

The Governor Has Played His Hand, What Can We Do?

The #EndSARS protests have witnessed significant incidents of violence over the past few days. The once peaceful protests seem to have been hijacked by hoodlums, thugs and rival cult gangs. The jailbreak in Benin yesterday is proof of this, and it seems state governors are happy to use this as a reason to impose curfews.

Read: #EndSARS: Prisoners Have Allegedly Broken Out of A Benin Prison

A Petition To The Senate Committee On Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions

Given that the president has refused to move speedily with the reform of the Nigerian Police Force, an alternative will be for the National Assembly to step in.

Section 88 of the Constitution gives the National Assembly the powers to direct investigation into the affairs of any government official executing laws enacted by the National Assembly.

The Inspector of General of Police operates under the Police Act 2020, and clearly is a government official working under laws enacted by the National Assembly.

Nigerians can subsequently write a petition to a senator (or through their lawyer) who will then present it to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions. The committee will present the petition to the Senate, and an investigative hearing will be held on the petition.

The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions is the committee of the Nigerian Senate who takes petitions on various issues of concerns from Nigerian citizens.

This way, the IGP can be summoned before the Nigerian Senate.

P.S: If you don’t trust the Nigerian Senate or anyone in the Nigerian Government to act, that is more reason for you to come out and vote at the by-elections happening all over Nigeria this October 31, 2020.

Read: Everything You Need To Know About The Upcoming By-Elections

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how to unfuck yourself when the Nigerian government moves mad. Check back every weekday for more Zikoko Citizen explainers.

Doyin Olagunju

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