…As lawmakers join Nigerians in #EndSARSNow protest
By Christiana Ekpa and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Senate yesterday mandated the Ad-hoc Committee on security to investigate the alleged extra-judicial killing and human rights abuse by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and make useful recommendations.
This was just as senators lent their voices to Nigerians protesting for the scraping of the police department SARS
This followed a Motion moved by Senator Isah Misau (APC Bauch Central) who cites orders 42 and 52 and speaks on the recent happenings with the SARS and the public which he said calls for urgent intervention.
He also says there have been a lot of complaints about extra-Judicial killings and brutality by SARS.
According to him, “The police Act and regulation, the force criminal investigation and intelligence department, force CID is the highest investigative arm of the Nigerian police and for effective and efficient administration, the department is divided into 14 sections for which the special anti robbery squad (SARS) is one of them.
“The special anti robbery squad is supposed to be a section in each state command CID with sole responsibility of handling armed robbery cases and answerable to the state commissioner for police.
“I have in the last few months received several petitions from my constituency both online and physically against SARS on violence from extra judicial killing, brutality, torture, arrest from bribe and other menacing conduct by the men of the unit. My findings have shown that this incidences are not isolated as many people have been sharing their experiences online.
“We are a civilized society, the majority of the Nigerian police is manned by men and women of great integrity, discipline and commitment. However, this unit is not one of them. It is dangerous for us to have a unit of the police force to act as if it is above the law and empowered to so behave.
“We must now make a major decision to end SARS until a more civilized unit build around the rule of law and human right observant is created by the police.
“ I am aware that in 2015, the then IG of Police, Solomon Arase had due to incessant reports of abuses by the force split SARS into two units with a view to check human rights abuses. This indeed by ensuring that officers cannot make arrest and investigate the same case. However the abuses have continued irrespective of that. The police high command had earlier said that it no intention to scrap the squad and contrary” He said.
He said, Nigerian police has a major obligation to ensure protection of human rights in all the states of the federation as well as prevent and investigate corruption misconduct by law enforcement officers and provide accountability for the excersise of their powers.
“I call on this chamber to mandate the committee on security to investigate this issue of human rights abuses by SARS and make relevant recommendations.
Ruling on the point of order, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, stated that the Senate has already set up an a Ad-hoc Committee to look at the security infrastructure in the Country, adding that it is appropriate for the same committee to look into the matter as an additional mandate.
“It is appropriate we send it the committee for them to consider it, it is clear that something wrong is going on than needs urgent attention. It is happening in all our constituency, we must be seen to be responsive to some of these needs
He adviced the Committee on security to take action, to quickly find a solution to the problems.
Prayer mandates ad hoc committee on security to investigate issues of human rights abuses by SARS and make relevant recommendations.
Recall that #EndSARSNow has generated a lot of debate about the unwholesome acts of the Special Antirobbery Squad prompting the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris to order reorganization of the Unit rather than scrape it.