Minister of Youths and Sport Development Sunday Dare has joined voices condemning the recurring brutality of the Nigeria Police Force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad after video of the shooting of a young man in front of a hotel in Ughelli, Delta State went viral on Saturday, Igbere TV reports.
The video showed how there was confusion around Wetland Hotel in Ughelli where the policemen allegedly killed the victim and escaped with his vehicle – a white Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle.
Global rights group Amnesty International, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Senate President Bukola Saraki have also condemned the act and called for the reform of SARS.
Mr Dare said the Federal Government would look into the reports of harassment of Nigerians by SARS.
Igbere TV reports that in a statement issued on Saturday by his special assistant John Joshua-Akanji, Dare said he had been monitoring reports of the attacks by SARS, adding that relevant government agencies will investigate the incidents.
“The minister of youth and sports development, who has also been monitoring the reports of alleged SARS harassment and attacks, has called for immediate investigations that will unravel the truth,” he said.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, wrote;
“The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Police was set up to confront violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and other related crimes.
“However, the unit has today morphed into an oppressor of the Nigerian masses who strive every day for a better life.
“Reports of intimidation, harassment and outright extortion by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have continued unabated.
“I strongly condemn their cruel actions against our people, and I urge the government to rise to the occasion and nip this monstrosity in the bud with the seriousness it deserves.
“It is expedient that the activities of SARS are reviewed to ensure that the rogue elements are excised from the unit and sanity returned to its operations.”
Former Senate President Bukola Saraki wrote; “The reports of the continued harassment, illegal arrest, detention and high handedness by rogue cells of the SARS Unit of Police against innocent Nigerians – most of them young people – in spite of efforts to reform the Police & raise standards of policing, are disheartening.
“A situation where the officers of Police become a threat to the lives and property of the very citizens they swore to protect is condemnable and unacceptable.
“I call on the Federal Government to immediately put a stop to these reprehensible activities and restructure the unit to better perform its lawful duties of safe guarding the lives and property of the Nigerian people.”