Senators call for reform, say SARS are agents of corruption | International Centre for Investigative Reporting

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Nigerian Senators have on Wednesday condemned the recent misconducts of operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.

This followed a motion by the Senator representing Lagos Central, Oluremi Tinubu, on the need to check the culture of brutality by security operatives against Nigerians.

“SARS members are agents of corruption. They extort money from innocent people and lock people up arbitrarily. They are not VIOs; they will go ahead to ask for a driving license. That is not their function. They must face their functions.

“SARS has turned back against the nation. This is the right time to do something about them,” said George Sekibo representing Rivers East senatorial district.

Taking similar position, Sabi Abdullahi, senator representing Niger North senatorial district said: “the only difference between SARS and criminals is that they are holding AK47. Some very wicked Nigerians go to SARS to tell them to harass their fellow citizens’.

He added that the National Assembly must ensure that SARS has a rule of engagement that everyone is aware of.

Elisha Ishaku said the Inspector General of Police must come with a plan to reform SARS so they can look like decent law enforcement officers and not armed robbers in their dressing.

“These people go about killing people for no just reason. Once they suspect somebody, they chase and kill the person. It is unfortunate. You see these SARS people (sic)  and you wonder if they are armed robbers,” he noted.

Philip Aduda commended the Abba Kyari group of the NPF, adding that they have shown commitment and loyalty “but all the others (special squads) have lived short of their responsibilities. I support this motion and we must ensure the lives of the citizens are safe”.

Speaking on the motion, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawam said “this is something that concerns our day-to-day lives and it is something that is all over the country. I think this is a situation that should be properly investigated those involved in the recent incidents should be arrested and prosecuted. Senator Oluremi Tinubu, thank you very much for bringing this motion”.

The Senate resolved to mandate the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to investigate human rights abuses by Nigerian security agencies and urged the various security agencies to establish hotlines to enable Nigerians to report abuses by their agents.

Other resolutions of the Senate on the motion include: urging the various security agencies to establish a Special Bureau Unit that monitors the contacts of officers, arresting and charging erring ones, mandating the Committee on Police Affairs and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to investigate allegation on extrajudicial killings and make recommendations, mandating the Committee on Police Affairs to organize stakeholders meeting to investigate the implementation of the Police Trust Fund.

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