The Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation, HURIDE, has faulted the scrapping and dissolution of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) by the Inspector General of Police, IGP, today.
Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of HURIDE, Dede Uzor A Uzor, said they don’t share the position that SARS or any other specialised group in the Police should be scrapped because of the excesses and abuse they have inflicted on Nigerian citizens.
In a press release in Ikeja, Lagos State today, the group said rather SARS should be “reformed with increased funding, provision of logistics for them like modern weapons, and motivation such as housing scheme, free education for their children, increase in the general welfare of Police officers, encourage professionalism, and constant reorientation in line with the international best practice.
He said SARS is being targeted as if it is the only security outfit that engage in abuse of people’s rights. The group also accused the DSS and other sister Organisations of human rights violations, saying that the failure of SARS and other abusive security units smacked of the failure of Police authority in particular and Nigeria as a country in general.
Dede Uzor said SARS operatives or any other security operative must be made to face the full consequences of the law if they abuse the citizens’ rights or run afoul of the law with impunity.
But the Police hierarchy who have been beneficiaries of spoils from SARS turned blind eyes from the excesses of SARS operatives”, the release alleged.
“And like Pontious Pilate they are washing their hands free from the latest campaign against SARS” Dede Uzor stressed.
He said the SARS was created for a purpose abinitio, to deal with armed robbery, bank robbery and later kidnapping and other high-profile criminal activities. “These things have not disappeared in our society.
They are still with us. So, now that you scrap SARS, who will chase this category of deadly criminals”, the group said.
They then called on the Police authority to fish out those SARS operatives who took laws into their hands by abusing and extorting the citizens to serve as a deterrent to others.
Dede Uzor, said the group refused to join the bandwagon in the blanket call for the scrapping of SARS and urged the IGP to immediately set up and create a more professional, disciplined, active Police Unit that would confront the more advanced and sophisticated criminals head on.