Calls for the abolition of notorious police unit grow as more join protests and online movement against police brutality.
(African Stand) — Protesters demonstrating against Nigeria’s controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit besieged its headquarters Thursday in Abuja and demanded the branch be scrapped, according to local media.
Protested chanted “End SARS” and poured red paint on the street in front of the building – a symbolic reference to the alleged killings by SARS officers, The Nation website reported.
The protest was attended by the leader of Nigeria’s Revolution Now campaign, Omoyele Sowore.
Amnesty International said in a report Tuesday that authorities failed to tackle the impunity enjoyed by SARS, whose brutality and corruption are “becoming increasingly brazen.”
“Last weekend, the Nigerian police announced yet another ban on routine patrols by SARS and other tactical squads of the Nigerian Police, the fourth such ban in four years, amid growing anger over harassment and abuse by officers,” said the rights group.
“This is yet another lame attempt to rein in this unit of the Nigerian Police, which is notorious for the widespread torture and other ill-treatment of Nigerians,” Director of Amnesty International Nigeria Osai Ojigho, said in the report.
Minister of Police Affairs Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi also announced a probe into violations by the police unit.