A member of the United Kingdom parliament, Theresa Villiers has stated that there is “strong” evidence to sanction the Nigerian government over the #EndSARS crisis.

Villiers, who is an MP for Chipping Barnet said the UK must use all diplomatic means to get the federal government to listen to protesters.

This statement was made by the minister while speaking at a UK parliament debate on a petition seeking sanction against the Nigerian government for alleged human rights abuses during the #EndSARS protests.

The petitioners had accused the government and the police of violating the rights of agitators protesting against police brutality.

They urged the UK to implement sanctions that allow “individuals and entities that violate human rights around the world to be targeted”.

During the debate monitored by Villiers wondered why the UK minister for Africa was “unable to make commitments on targeted sanctions”, insisting there is a strong case for such.

She said: “I would take this last minute to really urge the minister and the rest of the team at the foreign office to use all diplomatic means available to get the message to the authorities in Nigeria that they need to listen to what the protesters are asking for.

“I do hope that whilst the minister for all sorts of reasons has felt unable to make commitments on targeted sanctions today, I think there is a really strong case for doing this and I hope that behind the scenes, the foreign affairs (office) will continue to pursue this so that in the not-too-distant future, we will see an announcement of that.

She added that there has been a “long history of brutality and extrajudicial killings” relating to the Nigeria police force which goes beyond the reported abuses during the protests.