FOLLOWING the alleged human
rights abuse by operatives of the
Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS,
across the country, the Senate has
directed its Ad-hoc Committee on
the Review of Security Infrastructure
to carry out thorough investigations
on the allegation.
The Senate’s resolution was sequel
to a Point of Order 42 and 52 of its
Standing Rule by Senator Isa Misau
(APC Bauchi Central) which was
later allowed to be a motion.
Senator Misau, while presenting
the motion, said in the Police Act
and Regulation, the Force Criminal
Investigation and Intelligence
Department, FCIID, is the highest
investigative arm of the Nigerian
police.
“For effective and efficient
administration, the department is
divided into 14 sections for which the
Special Anti-Robbery Squad is one of
them. The squad is supposed to be a
section in each state command with
the sole responsibility of handling
armed robbery cases and answerable
to the commissioner of police.
“I have in the last few months
received several petitions from
my constituency both online and
physically against SARS, on violence
from extra judicial killing, brutality,
torture, arrest from bribe and other
menacing conduct by men of the
unit”.
The lawmaker said findings had
shown that these incidences were
not isolated as many people had
been sharing their experiences
online across the country.
“We are a civilised society. The
Nigerian police is manned by men
and women of great integrity,
discipline and commitment.
“However, this unit is not one of
them. It is dangerous for us to have
a unit of the police force that acts as
if it is above the law and empowered
to so behave.
“I am aware that in 2015, the then
Inspector-General of Police, IGP,
Solomon Arase, had due to incessant
reports of abuse by the force, split
SARS into two units with a view to
check human rights abuse.
“This indeed was by ensuring
that officers cannot make arrest
and investigate the same case”, he
explained.
Misau, who is the Chairman,
Senate Committee on Navy, noted
that the abuses had continued across
the country, adding that the police
has a major obligation to ensure the
protection of human rights in all the
states of the federation.
He maintained that the police
“therefore ought to prevent and
investigate misconduct by law
enforcement officers and provide
accountability for the exercise of
their powers.
“I call on this chamber to mandate
the ad-hoc committee on security
to investigate this issue of human
rights abuses by SARS and make
relevant recommendations,” he
stressed.
In his remarks, the Senate
President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who
noted that it was appropriate for the
matter to be sent to the committee for
urgent consideration, said: “It is clear
that something wrong is going on
and needs urgent attention since it is
happening in all our constituencies.
We must be seen to be responsive to
some of these needs”.

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