Showing posts with label SARS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SARS. Show all posts

Compensation for police violence victims

The National Human Rights Commission's (NHRC) panel's recent award of N147 million in compensation to 27 victims of police brutality is a positive step toward healing and achieving justice for the victims. Additionally, it will contribute to the reduction of police violence and impunity in Nigeria. The panel's ruling, which looked into human rights breaches committed by the former Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units, demonstrated that Nigerians would no longer accept cruel and humiliating treatment, notably extrajudicial executions, by security forces.

Mr Anthony Ojukwu, the Commission's Executive Secretary, said clearly, "By paying victims, the NHRC seeks to alter the narrative of impunity." The commission is prepared to give redress for violations of Nigerians' rights. Wherever a breach occurs, a remedy must be instituted. The panel has embarked on a quest to restore human dignity."

We concur with the allegation and praise the panel's 11 members for their impartiality. Hillary Ogbonna, the panel's secretary, said that the tribunal rewarded each of the 'Apo Six' victims N500,000. According to him, compensation was paid to seven victims of extrajudicial executions and five victims of enforced disappearance, torture, and cruel or degrading treatment. Among the others are five victims of wrongful arrests and protracted confinement, three victims of property seizure, and twenty more who faced threats. Additionally, the panel established a N5 million trust fund for a little girl who was apparently hit by errant police gunshots. He stated that the compensation granted ranged from N500,000 to N15 million.

Although the amount of compensation provided is pitiful, we respect the Chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima (retd), who said that what the panel has disclosed so far is not a full report and that monetary compensation was included in a number of other recommendations. We hope the final report addresses this point.

Similar compensations were given to victims of police brutality by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS-Related Abuses and Other Matters. Seventy victims of police abuse in the state have been granted a total of N410 million. Justice Doris Okuwobi, the panel's chairman, said that the compensation was part of the state government's gift to alleviate victims' anguish caused by abusive police personnel. Some of the victims received compensation of up to N10 million. The panel's report was due on November 15, 2021.

Throughout the years, the police, particularly the now-defunct SARS, have subjected several Nigerians to various forms of torture, intimidation, extortion, and extrajudicial executions. They often stopped young Nigerians on the highway, examined their phones or computers, and extorted money from them under the pretence of seeking "Yahoo lads." Numerous instances of this inhumane treatment exist.

On the occasion, security officers use torture tactics such as hanging, shooting, and fake executions to coerce captives into paying bribes and confessing. In 2019, police officers from the Lagos Police Command's anti-cultism squad murdered one Kolade Johnson in the Lagos neighbourhood of Onipetesi, Mangoro. Residents in the neighbourhood went on the rampage, prompting the state's police chief to fire the suspected murder officer. Later, they turned him over to the Panti Criminal Investigation Department for prosecution.

Nigerian teenagers revolted in protest against uncontrolled police violence in October 2020. Protests dubbed #EndSARS surged over several sections of the nation. While we applaud the NHRC for its first actions, we recognise that financial compensation is not the only factor necessary for justice to triumph. The government should do everything necessary to prevent future instances of police violence. Additionally, all governments that establish judicial panels should make an effort to act on their recommendations.

We believe that with the many police reforms and recent wage increases, the problem of police violence and extortion will be a thing of the past. President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Nigeria Police Bill 2020 into law last year. Section 37 of the Act provides that a suspect should be treated humanely and shall not be subjected to torture or inhumane treatment. This is the very minimum expectation of Nigerians of their police force.

Culled from:

How I Was Assaulted and Extorted By Police Officers Dressed in SARS Uniforms, Notorious For Terrorizing Residents of Akwa Ibom — Recently Married Man

A recently married man claims that certain police officers wearing the branded uniforms of the infamous Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which was abolished last year after #EndSARS demonstrations, extorted him and his trainee.

According to him, this might suggest that SARS has been resurrected in Akwa Ibom State.

SARS was infamous for its violence, extrajudicial executions, and violations of human rights.

Mohammed Adamu, the former Inspector General of Police, announced the disbandment of the police squad on October 11, 2020, after a countrywide outcry against its violence.

The guy bemoaned to SaharaReporters that he and his apprentice were allegedly extorted of N25,000 by operatives dressed in SARS uniforms at the Area Command in Ikot Ekpene.

He said that he was handcuffed by police officers in the manner of a criminal while his home was searched.

Bassey Nyong was recognised as the head of the squad that abused and extorted him by the service engineer.

"That day was a Monday, and it was the week before my wedding, which was slated for December 11th. I went out to get a bag of sachet water at a grocery along the big road (Aba Road) that runs through my neighbourhood, known as Kevino White intersection. I was recently standing outside the grocery with one of my apprentices, who is also a student at a local polytechnic. We were discussing how the wedding would be held, what would be included, and what had been accomplished so far. While we were conversing, a buddy of his who is also interested in learning my job, which is sales and service of printers since I am a service engineer, came down to us to pick up something at the same store," he said.

"While we were there, these people from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Area Command in Ikot Ekpene rode by on their motorcycles and instantly turned around and encircled us. Already, the last person who approached us welcomed us and proceeded to the shop to get what he desired, and I requested that he obtain a bag of sachet water for me while I continued to chat with my buddy. Immediately after these people encircled us, the first person, Bulus or something along those lines, leapt down and went down to us, demanding our phones.

"As I stood a little further away from him, he requested that I approach him and hand over my phone, while simultaneously dragging my son closer to himself and requesting his phone. When I saw that, I rebelled, asking why he would suddenly appear and begin requesting our phones, and how he should calm down and leave the youngster alone. While I was doing so, the others encircled us, two of them standing on my right-hand side, and one of them, Mark, began pleading with me to take my phone out of my pocket and give it to them, or he would hit me. I inquired as to what he said. Perhaps he was kidding me about slapping me.

"I asked him again whether he was aware of who he was speaking to as if it were a joke, and he slapped me; I questioned him how he dared hit me, and he continued slapping me. While I was doing that, the first guy, Bulus, had already reached into my pocket and taken my phones, placing them in his own pocket. Bassey Nyong, the team's captain, requested that they place handcuffs on me. I was handcuffed beside my son as if it were a joke. I walked down to the team's leader, whom I knew, and told him he had the audacity to handcuff and harass me over nothing and that I would not take it lightly on them; he also slapped me numerous times and said he was going to continue slapping me because there was nothing I could do and that I was only making a racket.

"While he was doing that and searching for anybody with a phone to film the event, he contacted the leader of their team, whose name I don't know but whom I recognise by face. We were there when further members of the unit, including the unit's commander, arrived in his Honda EOD and many others on motorcycles, and I was ordered to transport them to my home. These people drove me to my vehicle's parking space, pushed me inside, and one of them, whom I also don't know by name but recognise by face, drove me to my home in my car while the others followed in their cars and motorcycles. My wife was in the parlour with a friend when I was carried into my home in handcuffs like a criminal, and these guys proceeded to search it, including asking my wife to unlock her phone.

"After inspecting my home, they discovered a white piece of paper in the pocket bag of my friend's younger brother and his damaged ATM Card, which he left in my house two Saturdays ago while assisting me in transporting the gifts I had purchased to my in-laws on the day of my Introduction. They grabbed the bag and brought us to the station, where Bassey Nyong searched my phones and, upon discovering nothing, released me bail by collecting N10,000 from my wife and godparents, who arrived at the station instantly upon learning of the occurrence.

"However, the other lads with whom I was detained were not released. Later that day, after returning home and recharging my batteries, I returned to the station to see the DPO in person, Benjamin Joshua. While I waited for him, I was informed that these individuals want N150,000 from my lads for their bail, which these boys said they did not have and for what reason. Though later that evening, they were freed on the DPO's order after I informed him of everything and he requested that they release the guys immediately and for free. However, this Bassey Nyong continued to collect the amount of N15, 000 as bail from them.

"As a result, this Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the police has been terrorising young males in this local government region. They have been detaining and assaulting young guys in order to extract money. Even that day, the Mark man who first slapped me threatened to shoot me if I said too much, but nothing happened. I am not a criminal; I have never committed an illegal act and have never been arrested for any offence. As a young guy, I have always been conscientious about my business and worked diligently. As a result, having this kind of illegal and life-threatening behaviour committed by police officers who are meant to protect me, my life, my property, and my family is unfortunate. They are the ones who are behaving criminally and like armed robbers."

When contacted, Odiko Macdon, a spokeswoman for the Akwa Ibom state police command, confirmed that the dissolved unit had not been reestablished in the state, adding that the command will examine the issue.

"We do not have SARS, and there will never be another outbreak of SARS in our nation," he said. This command contains nothing of the kind. Allow me to inform you that the command is prepared to examine this charge, but SARS does not exist in this state or anywhere else in the nation.

"So, although we as a command do not have a unit designated as SARS, we do have other groups dedicated to combating crime. The state's Commissioner of Police does not accept corruption in any form; kindly provide the individual with my phone contact. We will see to it that justice is served."

SARS brutality in Oke-ira Lagos Nigeria

This video is currently trending on internet and everyone is talking about it. According to report this young man in Oke-ira Lagos was stop by SARS officials who searched his bag and couldn’t find anything
Despite showing his ID the official kept on looking for something and find his two phones. They ask why he had two phones and ask him to unlock , as heard in the video, he cries out saying “he knows his right, and that they have no right to search his phone, they took his phone and ask him to come to Alagbon FCIID police station to retrieve it. 

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