Lagos Murder: Amnesty International Decries Failure of Osinbajo’s SARS Reform


Amnesty International (AI) has berated the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), for allegedly killing Kolade Johnson, who was shot dead while watching a Premier League match on Olu Aboderin Street, Lagos, on Sunday.

AI said the call to scrap SARS and reform the police had not been taking seriously.

It said efforts put in place by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government had failed even as it blamed the judiciary for failing to punish police torture.

The organisation said SARS continues to use torture to extract confessions from suspects, adding that the police unit seems not to be accountable to anyone.

A series of tweets posted by AI read, “Once again SARS is in the news for alleged brutalisation of Nigerians. We have several times called for #EndSARS.

“SARS is a police unit created to protect the people, instead it has become a danger to society, torturing its victims with complete impunity while fomenting a toxic climate of fear and corruption.

“Many attempts to reform SARS, including the one ordered by @ProfOsinbajo in August last year have been ineffective. Nigerians are still brutalised by SARS. Restructuring SARS is not enough unless the government takes concrete steps to protect Nigerians.

“Our research since 2016 uncovered a pattern of ruthless human rights violations by SARS, where victims are arrested and tortured until they either make a ‘confession’ or pay officers a bribe to be released.

“Apart from brutality, some police officers in SARS regularly demand bribes, steal and extort money from criminal suspects and their families. SARS officers are getting rich through their brutality. In Nigeria, it seems that torture is a lucrative business.”