We’re yet to receive complaint officially – PPRO
By Ahmed Ajikobi
The last may not have been heard over the alleged harassments and extortion of innocent citizens by the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) following the latest complaints by students of the University of Ilorin and residents of Tanke in the Kwara State
In several social media post on Monday and Tuesday, some of the students alleged that SARS operatives invade their private hostels located at Tanke by scaling the fence and start what they termed ‘raiding’ of the inhabitants.
Some of the victims claimed the security operatives sometimes after arresting their ‘victims’ will torture them and extort money from them at gun point.
Among the areas where SARS officers carry out their nefarious acts is Alao farm area at Tanke, Ilorin where it was alleged they turned off the generator serving the hostel after scaling the fence only to whisk away innocent students.
One on the students with twitter account, Segun sega awosanya@ segalink said,
“My heart goes out to the students of University of Ilorin on spare of incessant raids by@ police NG SARS which has cost many students their exams after series of abductions, torture and extortion at gun point.”
In his narration, Sire Antonie @Sire_Antoine said early Wednesday some SARS officers came to their neighbourhood at Alao Farm, Tanke, Ilorin.
He further said that the officers entered the compound by scaling the fence and turning off the generator before whisking away three innocent guys from the premises.
He added that, some students and residents of that compound couldn’t go out. Some Unilorin students according to him forfeited lectures for fear of molestation and extortion.
“No young guy is allowed to look good in Ilorin; it is a crime which is punishable only by SARS. And no one dares confront them. They are capable of setting you up by dropping marijuana or other Illegal stuffs in your bag. They didn’t even see anything incriminating and surprisingly, they asked the students why they have many chargers,” Antoine wrote.
Similarly, Adeola Mayowa said the SARS officers around 6pm every evening, move in Toyota Camry around Shoprite in Ilorin without their uniforms on.
“They sometimes harass boys inside Shoprite, forced them to the ATM and make them withdraw money for them.”
When contacted on the telephone last night, the Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin, Mr Kunle Akogun said the institution’s authority is yet to be briefed by any such harassment by SARS operatives.
In the same vein, the Kwara State Police Command, spokesperson, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi said the command is yet to receive complaint officially on the alleged harassment and extortion of students by SARS.
He stated this in a telephone interview with our reporter yesterday adding that “there is however no smoke without fire.”
Speaking further, he said SARS operatives cannot invade any compound without suspecting any wrong dealing by those residing in such building.
He said, “No officer is supported by law to harass anybody adding that police should respect innocent citizens and suspects when arrested.”
Okasanmi added that to ensure improved security of lives and property, the Kwara State Police Command has established a special team called ‘the response team’ headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police.
He urged members of the public to co-operate with policemen in order to fight crime in the state while noting that any erring officer should be reported by the public for appropriate action.
…as IGP approves request to audit SARS detention cells nationwide
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has approved the independent audit of detention cells of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) nationwide.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had requested access to cells in all police commands and formations in Nigeria in order to “oversee human rights situation of detainees”.
Allegations of human rights abuse have been levelled against SARS operatives and policemen generally.
Currently, there is an ongoing campaign on social media to scrap the police outfit.
In a statement, the NHRC urged Nigerians to report incidents of police misconduct to its complaints unit.
The commission was established by the NHRC act, 1995 as amended to deal with all matters relating to promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights in Nigeria.
“The Inspector-General of @PoliceNG has approved the request of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to commence an independent audit of detention cells in all police commands and formations in Nigeria including those of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),” the statement read.
“These visits will enable the NHRC oversee the human rights situation of detainees as well as undertake general audit of the state of @PoliceNG detention facilities (cells) in the country.
“This exercise is part of the NHRC 2018 audit of police detention centers in Nigeria.
“Citizens are reminded that the @PoliceNG_PCRRU is available 24/7 to receive complaints of police misconducts via any of the following channels; Calls Only: 0805 700 0001, 0805 700 0002 | SMS and WhatsApp Only: 0805 700 0003 | BBM: 58A2B5DE | Facebook: (link: http://www.facebook.com/PolicePCRRU) facebook.com/PolicePCRRU.”