The Press and Public Affairs Officer at the high commission , Mr Joe Abuku , said this in a statement sent to The PUNCH.
The high commission said the British government would continue to support only the rule of law and democratic ethos .
The statement read , “ We are aware of media reports of a situation at the National Assembly this morning . We are closely monitoring the situation and other political developments in Nigeria . The United Kingdom supports a process whereby the people of Nigeria can exercise their democratic right to vote and be voted for . We favour a free, fair , credible and peaceful process and the independence of institutions , which allow for that . ”
In June , the British High Commissioner , Mr Paul Arkwright, had urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission , the Independent National Electoral Commission and other agencies of government to remain neutral before, during and after the general elections .
Arkwright had said democracy could only thrive when agencies of government were independent and all parties were given a level playing field.
Meanwhile, the South- West socio – cultural group , Afenifere , as well as the civil society , Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and Centre for Anti -Corruption and Open Leadership, condemned the siege to the National Assembly by the Department of State Services ’ operatives. They demanded that the sacked Director – General , Lawal Daura, must face prosecution .
The Afenifere National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, stated this in an interview on the siege to the National Assembly chambers by DSS operatives .
He said , “What happened at the National Assembly was a coup d’ état . The sacked DSS DG must have had some collaborators . Besides his sacking , he must face a treason trial. He must be prosecuted . It is when he is tried that Nigerians will know that he truly acted on his own as the Presidency is claiming .
“The invasion of our legislative chambers by security men portrays our country as a laughing stock . It is a barbaric act that must not be condoned in a democracy .
“ The sacking of the DSS DG should not be the only action . If the Presidency is saying the DG acted without their consent, it means we have a deregulated Presidency.
“Or did that order come from London? Either way , there is trouble in the land. It is hard to believe that the DSS will just mobilise on a morning and go to shut down completely another arm of the government . ”
Meanwhile, the CDHR President , Malachy Ugwummadu , said , “ This is one of such incidents which have weakened our democratisation system . Democracy is rooted in the recognition of the separation of powers. This incident is condemnable and is one of the excesses of security agencies in this government. ”
Also, the CACOL Director , Debo Adeniran, said , “ The invasion is barbaric and against democratic principles . But the body language of the Presidency is encouraging and also adds to the general condemnation of that action by the DSS . ”