Scrap ‘SARS’ Over Brutality On Citizens

The group expressed dismay on how the squad legitimately constituted to combat crime and ensure the safety of the people now turned itself to agent of terror.

A civil society organisation, Centre for Advancement of Civil Liberties and Development, has called on the Nigerian Government to scrap the Special Anti-Robbery Squad over unwarranted brutality and abuse of Nigerian youth. 

The group expressed dismay on how the squad legitimately constituted to combat crime and ensure the safety of the people now turned itself to agent of terror.

In a statement jointly signed by the Co- conveners, Adebayo Raphael, Ariyo-Dare Atoye and Deji Adeyanju, on Sunday, the group said the squad had constituted itself as threat to the safety of the Nigerian people. 

The statement reads, “We have watched with disdain, the several clips of SARS brutality on different social media platforms and how the operatives of this  unit constituted to combat crime and ensure the safety of the people have now become agents of brutality, terror and unwarranted and horror.

“In line with chapter II, Section 14 (2)(b) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, it is clear to us and the majority of Nigerians that this police unit has failed to prioritize the security of the Nigerian people, but has rather become a bane to our nation’s security and a monstrous threat to the safety of the Nigerian people. 

“It is on this basis that we declare, therefore, that the Federal Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must act immediately and decisively to shut down this unit of the Nigeria Police Force and ensure that it henceforth ceases to exist in our country.” 

CFL also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all innocent citizens, who have been unjustly incarcerated by this unit and compensate them accordingly. 

The statement also urged the government to order an independent inquiry into the activities of SARS operatives in the last one year and punish any and every operative found guilty of extortion, abuse of citizens rights and execution or killing of any innocent citizen within the said timeframe. 

“Our hope is that the Federal Government will side with the Nigerian people, and not this rogue unit terrorizing Nigerians with unbridled impunity. 

“The Nigeria Police Force can only become an institution that protects the Nigerian people when it is free of anti-people and anti-democratic elements like the operatives in the SARS unit,” the statement added.

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