End SARS: Amnesty International speaks on brutalisation of Nigerians, calls on Osinbajo

End SARS: Amnesty International speaks on brutalisation of Nigerians, calls on Osinbajo

Amnesty International has called on Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to intervene in the alleged brutalization of Nigerians by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Reports emerged over the weekend that men alleged to be SARS officials shot dead a man identified as Kolade Johnson. Speaking on the development, Amnesty International in a statement on its Twitter

Amnesty International has called on Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to intervene in the alleged brutalization of Nigerians by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)

Reports emerged over the weekend that men alleged to be SARS officials shot dead a man identified as Kolade Johnson.

Speaking on the development, Amnesty International in a statement on its Twitter verified page said SARS intended to protect Nigerians has become a danger to the society.

According to them, restructuring of SARS is not enough, adding that reforms ordered by ‘Prof Osinbajo in August last year have been ineffective.’

The statement reads: “Once again SARS is in the news for alleged brutalization of Nigerians. We have several times called for EndSARS.SARS is a police unit created to protect the people, instead, it has become a danger to society, torturing its victims with complete impunity while fomenting a toxic climate of fear and corruption.

“Our research since 2016 uncovered a pattern of ruthless human rights violations by SARS, where victims are arrested and tortured until they either make a ‘confession’ or pay officers a bribe to be released. Apart from brutality, some police officers in SARS regularly demand bribes, steal and extort money from criminal suspects and their families. SARS officers are getting rich through their brutality. In Nigeria, it seems that torture is a lucrative business.

“Because of corruption SARS officers believe they have carte blanche to torture Nigerians. This is hardly surprising when many of these officers have bribed their way to SARS in the first place. The police chiefs in charge are themselves entwined in the corruption.

“Apart from demanding bribes, SARS officers have been accused of stealing or confiscating property from relatives of detained suspects. Some family members told Amnesty International that SARS officers stole their cars or withdrew all the money from their bank accounts.

“The majority of the victims of torture in SARS custody are poor and unable to hire legal representatives. In some cases when detainees cannot afford to pay bribes, they are simply tortured more. Despite repeated calls from Amnesty International in recent years, the Nigerian justice system has failed to prevent or punish torture. Despite Buhari signing into law the Anti-Torture Bill Police torture Nigerians with impunity.

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