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Group urges IGP to implement SARS reforms


[FILES] Police boss, Adamu Mohammed

A civil society organisation, the Human Rights Society for All, has urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to implement the recommendations of the presidential panel on the re-organisation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) arm of the Nigeria Police Force.

In a statement issued and signed yesterday by its President, Moses Adamu, the group said: “The Human Rights Society for All is appalled with the brazen disregard for the rights of innocent Nigerians who go about their normal businesses by policemen who continually harass them through acts of extortion and intimidation. This much was the case that eventually led to the nationwide protest calling for an end to the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the country.

“The recent event that trailed the death of Kolade Johnson following wounds sustained from bullets fired by police officers during a raid in his neighbourhood in Lagos is just an example of how brutal and insensitive the operatives of SARS have been.

“The Human Rights Society for All wishes to state that over the years, SARS has earned a notorious reputation of a brutal agency following cases of extra-judicial killings, torture, abuse of detainees and extortion of suspects.

“The activities of the Nigeria Police have also raised a huge question mark in the country in recent times. Besides arresting indiscriminately, frequently, police officers detain suspects for several weeks without arraigning them in court, which is against the 48 hours’ detainment period allowed and stipulated by the constitution.”

“Worse still, they do not let detainees see any relatives or even their lawyers. Also, regardless of the provision of a free bail policy by the Nigerian Police rarely release suspects for free but extort them and their relatives.”

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