- A new report has exposed the massive rot ongoing in the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)
- For three years, no single operative from SARS has been prosecuted despite their well-known atrocities
- The report titled: Time to End Impunity is an initiative of Amnesty International in Nigeria
A report by Amnesty International has revealed that Nigerian authorities have failed to prosecute a single officer from the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in three years.
This is despite numerous cases of rights violations reportedly perpetrated by the notoriously lawless police unit.
The report revealed that torture and ill-treatment remain routine practice used by SARS operations to execute, punish and extract information from suspects, under the supervision of senior police officers.
In 2017, Nigeria outlawed such inhumane and degrading treatment as a tactic for extracting information from suspects.
The report titled: Time to End Impunity, documented at least 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extra-judicial execution by SARS between January 2017 and May 2020.
A bulk of the victims are males between the ages of 18 and 35, from low-income backgrounds and vulnerable groups.
The group said it wrote, on three occasions, the Inspector-General of Police asking for steps the police may have taken in investigating the cases outlined in the report, but there was no response.
The report also said some of the challenges faced by victims of SARS violations include concerted opposition from the police authorities while seeking justice, including threats to their lives.
Recently, a popular pastor in Nigeria, Apostle Johnson Suleman tweeted: It's so shameful to see what SARS has now turned itself into. Picking up random boys and getting them to pay huge sum before release.
On several occasions, law enforcement agencies in Nigeria arrest and detain without warrants or reasonable suspicion.
Law experts say the impunity is allowed to fester because Nigerians are scared of these agencies and keep quiet about their ordeal.
Meanwhile, a group, the League of Concerned Professionals from Kogi West Senatorial Zone has alerted the Inspector-General of Police that some desperate politicians in Kogi state may be deploying massive resources towards freeing suspects linked to the June 4 bank robbery.
In a statement sent to journalists and signed by its president and secretary, Leke Ishola and Moruf Abdulrahman, the group alleged that police operatives had traced some of the money stolen from the Kogi bank to another bank in Abeokuta.
The group further said another team of policemen have nabbed some of the gangsters using illegal weapons given by politicians during the last elections in Kogi state.
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