Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, says the federal government is obligated under international law and human rights law to uphold the constraint of torture and ill-treatment of its citizens, and must respond to the allegations of the abuse of power from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and take the necessary steps to ensure police officers do not abuse their power and violate human rights.
Mr. Ojigho said this in a response to the recent viral video showing what happened after SARS allegedly killed a young man.
“The scale of the reaction to this incident shows that the concerns of the Nigerian people are reaching boiling point. All incidents of violence meted out by this notorious police unit must be independently investigated, and those found to be responsible must be prosecuted in fair trials.”
“The #EndSARS hashtag is rightly gaining the attention of the police and Nigerian government and now officials must do more to end these horrendous abuses of power. Amnesty International highlighted such abuses more than a year ago and yet these shocking incidents still continue. Restructuring SARS is not enough, the government must take concrete steps to protect Nigerians,” she said.
Back in 2015, it was announced that due to complaints that SARS officers were violating human rights, police authorities would split the command into two units: Operation and Investigation in hopes that the reform would bring positive developments. However, the positive developments are yet to be seen.