A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, Centre for Advancement of Civil Liberties and Development, CACLD, also called Centre for Liberty, CFL, Sunday, called for a total shutdown of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, over alleged citizens’ brutality of recent. This was contained in a statement signed by Co-convener, CFL, Adebayo Raphael; Co-convener, CFL, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, and Co-convener, CFL, Deji Adeyanju. CFL in the statement described the actions of SARS as a resurgence of unprovoked and unjustified violence, hence the “immediate and unconditional release of all innocent citizens who have been unjustly incarcerated by this unit and compensate them accordingly.” The statement, “The Centre for Advancement of Civil Liberties and Development, also known as the Centre for Liberty, condemns in its totality, the resurgence of unprovoked and unjustified violence of operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Nigerian citizens, especially the youths in different parts of the country.
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“We have watched with disdain, the several clips of SARS brutality populating different social media platforms, and how the operatives of this Police Unit — legitimately constituted to combat crime and ensure the safety of the people — have now become agents of terror and unwarranted brutality and abuse to Nigerian youths. “In line with Chapter II, Section 14 (2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, it is clear to us and the majority of Nigerians that this police unit has failed to prioritize the security of the Nigerian people, but has rather become a bane to our nation’s security and a monstrous threat to the safety of the Nigerian people. “It is on this basis that we declare, therefore, that the Federal Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must act immediately and decisively to shut down this unit of the Nigeria Police Force and ensure that it henceforth ceases to exist in our country. “In addition, the Federal Government must order the immediate and unconditional release of all innocent citizens who have been unjustly incarcerated by this unit and compensate them accordingly.
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Further, the Federal Government must immediately order an independent inquiry into the rogue activities of SARS operatives in the last one year and punish any and every operative found guilty of extortion, abuse of Nigerian citizens and execution or killing of any innocent citizen within the said time frame.” The group also expressed hope that the Federal Government will listen to the masses over the brutality they have experienced under operatives of SARS. “Our hope is that the Federal Government will side with the Nigerian people, and not this rogue unit terrorizing Nigerians with unbridled impunity. The Nigerian Police Force can only become an institution that protects the Nigerian people when it is free of anti-people and anti-democratic elements like the operatives in the SARS unit”, the statement added.