The police high command has vowed to investigate all complaints and allegations against the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS); with the assurance that the big stick will be wielded on those found guilty of professional misconduct.
According to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Joshak Habila, any officer indicted for human rights abuses and professional misconduct would be sanctioned and eased out of the Police Force.
He assured Nigerians that the complaints against SARS on the social media were being compiled by the Force Public Relations unit for further investigation and action.
Habila made this known while speaking with protesters led by Deputy National Chairman, Police Community Relations Committee, Sanusi Ajiya, who marched to the Force headquarters, Abuja, after a rally at the Eagle Square in support of the SARS on Monday.
He said: “All allegations against SARS will be investigated. They are being put together by the Force Public Relations Officer.
“The reason we are doing this is because we believe SARS has something to offer, but anyone found wanting will be taken out of the Force.
“The PCRC has been telling us some of the wrongs we did and today, they are saying they won’t want SARS to be thrown away.
“The IG is rebranding SARS; those that have violated people’s rights or killed won’t go unpunished.”
The assurance by the DIG is coming on a day Nigerians trooped out nationwide to protest the alleged brutality, intimidation, extortion and killings of innocent citizens by the police unit and called for its immediate scrapping.
The convener #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG, Segun Awosanya, who spoke during the rally, disclosed that Nigerians have spent the last one week highlighting the travails many of them have suffered in the hands of SARS.
Allegations of brutality, extra-judicial killings, torture, wanton arrests for bribes and other menacing conducts have since flooded the internet, with scores of citizens calling the police department “a cluster of criminals in uniform.”
READ MORE HERE: #EndSARS: Nigerians Say ‘Enough Is Enough’
Awosanya further noted that the police unit has outlived its usefulness and now constitutes a clear and present threat to the safety, well-being and welfare of most Nigerians.
Consequently, the group is giving the authorities 21 days within which to meet these demands failing which they will be compelled to resort to other measures to embarrass them into taking action.
They listed their demands as follows during the lead rally at the Unity Fountain Abuja:
1. We demand for an outright scrapping of the entire SARS unit across the country. Its members have become engrossed in crime, murder, brutality, extortion and disrespect for the rule of law in a manner that makes any attempt at reform a waste of time.
2. We demand the constitution of a panel by the Police Services Commission to reform the Nigerian Police in its entirety. The agenda must include provisions for better training of police officers; provision of better equipment and firearms; better welfare including housing, insurance, prompt payment of salaries and pensions etc; establishment of a code of conduct and strict compliance thereto as well as strong disciplinary measures for any officer who violates the code of conduct.
3. We also demand a public hearing at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to enable Nigerians to table their grievances before our elected representatives as well as the submission of memoranda on reforms of the Nigerian Police including recommendations on the amendment of laws to ensure a more efficient police force.
4. We demand thorough investigations into complaints filed against SARS officers. We demand that such officers be identified and immediately brought to justice. In some cases, we will provide video and pictorial evidence against officers who have been seen to be involved in such acts of brutality and extortion.