Scepticism trails SARS ban, HURIWA tasks Buhari, IGP
Scepticism has trailed the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), as stakeholders ask the Federal Government to come clean on its intention.
#EndSARS protesters are unhappy that personnel of the SARS are being redeployed to other units rather than being disciplined or reformed.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, had on Sunday promised that a committee that would include the civil society is expected to investigate allegations of abuse by SARS personnel.
But many Nigerians are worried that even brutal SARS officers will continue to serve in the force in the meantime, as it is unclear whether they will be prosecuted for past abuses.
Believing that a total overhaul of policing in Nigeria is needed, #EndSARS campaigners circulated a list of five key demands to bring about reform, including immediate release of all arrested protesters and justice for those killed by police along with compensation for their families.
Others are constitution of an independent body to investigate and prosecute wrongdoers; independent psychological assessment and re-training for dismissed SARS officers who want redeployment; and a pay rise for the police to ensure efficiency.
SIMILARLY, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the IGP to come clean on the disbandment. This follows continuous operation of the dreaded police unit in different parts of Nigeria, hours after the publication.
In a statement yesterday, HURIWA condemned the manhandling and detention of a TV reporter, Francis Ogbonna, and some natives of Amechi Awkunanaw in Enugu State by operatives under the ‘dissolved’ SARS.
In a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA lamented that over 20 practising journalists has been brutalised, injured or arbitrarily detained President Buhari.
It stated: “We demand the arrest and prosecution of the brutes in police uniform who inflicted the horrendous injuries on the Arise TV journalist, just as the police must pay N50 million to the wounded journalist or be ready to be sued for several billions of naira.
“We condemn the reported flouting of the instrumentality of the of law by policemen in Enugu, Imo and Abia states, just as we call on the Buhari-led administration to assure Nigerians that they have not been deceived.”
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