Demand immediate release of imprisoned Nigerians
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A civil society organization, CSO, Center for Advancement of Civil Liberties and Development, CACLD, also called Center for Liberty, CFL, called on Sunday for the total closure of the Special Anti-Theft Squad, SARS, for the alleged citizen brutality of recent times . .
This was contained in a statement signed by the Co-convenor, CFL, Adebayo Raphael; Co-convenor, CFL, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, and Co-convener, CFL, Deji Adeyanju.
CFL in the statement described the actions of SARS as a resurgence of unprovoked and unjustified violence, hence the “immediate and unconditional release of all innocent citizens who have been unjustly incarcerated by this unit and compensated accordingly.”
The statement, “The Center for the Advancement of Civil Liberties and Development, also known as the Center for Freedom, condemns in its entirety, the resurgence of unprovoked and unjustified violence by Special Anti-Theft Squad (SARS) operations. against Nigerian citizens, especially young people from different parts of the country.
“We have watched with disdain the various clips of SARS brutality that populate different social media platforms, and how the operatives of this Police Unit – legitimately constituted to fight crime and guarantee the safety of the people – have now become agents of terror and unjustified brutality and abuse of Nigerian youth.
“According to Chapter II, Section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, it is clear to us and the majority of Nigerians that this police unit has not given priority to the security of the Nigerian people, but it has become a nightmare for the security of our nation and a monstrous threat to the security of the Nigerian people.
“It is on this basis that we therefore declare that the Federal Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must act immediately and decisively to close down this unit of the Nigerian Police and ensure that it will no longer exist in our country.
“Furthermore, the Federal Government must order the immediate and unconditional release of all innocent citizens who have been unjustly imprisoned by this unit and compensate them accordingly.
In addition, the Federal Government must immediately order an independent investigation into the dishonest activities of SARS operatives in the last year and punish each and every one of the operatives found guilty of extortion, abuse of Nigerian citizens and execution or murder of any innocent citizen within said period of time. “
The group also expressed their hope that the Federal Government will listen to the masses about the brutality they have experienced under the SARS operations.
“Our hope is that the Federal Government will side with the Nigerian people and not with this rogue unit that terrorizes Nigerians with unbridled impunity. The Nigerian Police Force can only become an institution that protects the Nigerian people when it is free from anti-popular and anti-democratic elements such as the SARS unit operatives, ”the statement added.