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Alleged extrajudicial executions: Senate mandates 3 committee to investigate SARS

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SARS. Photo; BBC

The Senate on Wednesday mandated its Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Police Affairs to investigate alleged extrajudicial executions by officers of Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in some parts of the country.

The committees are also to investigate Human Rights abuses by Security Agencies in the country and make recommendations.

The resolutions of the Senate followed the adoption of a motion by Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (APC- Lagos) on the urgency to check the brutality meted on Nigerians by security officials, especially by SARS.

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Tinubu, who brought her motion under matters of urgent public importance, having cited order 42 and 52 of Senate rules, said the injustice by SARS were flagrant disregards of laws governing all Nigerians.

She said the constitution provided for the right of every Nigerian, noting that the 1999 constitution chapter four provides for the right to life.

According to her, there were allegations of abuses of human rights, by some officers of security agencies.

She said Kolade Johnson was killed by SARS on April 3, while watching a football match at a viewing center in Lagos.

“In August 2019, a video surfaced online of two policemen shooting two suspected phone pips.”

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She said it was a concern that Nigerian youths could no longer move freely for fear of being accused of belonging to the Yahoo boys or being fraudsters because of wearing nice clothes, riding good cars, owning a laptop, nice phones and wear certain hairstyles.

“Senate is concerned with more youths doing software developments and other ICT works, profiling by policemen has become a major problem,” she said.

She said despite assurances by the Inspector-General of Police (I-GP) in 2015 and 2017 that SARS would be reformed; innocent Nigerians are still being extorted, harassed and executed by some officials of SARS on daily basis.

“Nigerians are afraid of reporting the occurrence of crime to police because of being detained or being made to part with some money by the police or been accused of the same crime
they have come to report.

Senate further in its resolutions urged the various security agencies to establish hotlines to enable Nigerians to report abuses by their officers.

It also urged the various security agencies to establish a special bureau unit that will monitor the conduct of its’ officers arrest and charges the erring ones.

It also mandated the committee on Police Affairs to organise a stakeholders meeting to investigate the implementation of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund Act 2019.

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The Senate also commended the I-G for his swift response and urged him to review the objectives behind the establishment of the tactical squad.

The Senate noted that this was to permanently restrict SARS from interfering on the daily affairs of Nigerians.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan in his remark, called for proper investigation by the committees on the abuse of human rights and alleged extrajudicial executions of some Nigerians.

He said those found to have been involved in the act should be made to face the law accordingly.

He, however, said it was not the best to totally scrap SARS as the unit has assisted in the fight against crime in the country, noting that there were also good officials in the SARS.

He said the rule of law should be employed in the activities of SARS.

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