The Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation ( HURIDE), has faulted the the scrapping and disbandedment of Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) by the Inspector General of Police.
The chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of HURIDE, Dede Uzor A Uzor, said they don’t share the position that SARS or any other
specialised group in the Police should be scrapped because of the excesses and abuse they have inflicted on Nigerian citizens.
In a press release in Ikeja, Lagos State on Sunday, the group said rather SARS should be “reformed”, increase their funding, provide logistics for them like modern weapons, provide incentives, like housing scheme, free education for their children, increase the general welfare of Police officers, encourage professionalism, constantly reorientate them inline with the international best practice.
He said SARS was being targetted as if it is the only security outfit that engage in abuse of people’s rights also accused DSS and other sister Organisations of rights violations, saying that the failure of SARS and other abusive security units smacked of the faililure of Police authority in particular and Nigeria as a country in general.
Dede Uzor said SARS operatives or any other security operative must be made to face the full consequences of the law if they abuse the citizens or run foul of the law with impunity.
But the Police hierarchy who have been beneficiaries of spoils from SARS turned blind eyes from the excesses of SARS operatives .
“And like Pontious Pilate they are washing their hands free from the latest campaign against SARS” Dede Uzor said.
He said there was a purpose or purposes the SARS was abinitio set up; to deal with armed robbery, bank robbery and latter kidnapping and other high profile criminal activities.
“These things have not disappeared in our society.
They are still with us. So, now that you scrap SARS, who will chase these category of deadly criminals?” the group said.
They then called on the Police authority to fish out those SARS operatives who took laws into their hands by abusing and extorting the citizens to serve as a deterrent to others.
Dede Uzor said their group refused to join the bandwagon in the blanket ban or scrapping of SARS and call on IGP to immediately set up and create a more professional, disciplined, active Police Unit that would confront the more advanced and sophisticated criminals headon, Dede Uzor cautioned.
11th September 2020