*Amnesty International describes SARS as danger to society
By Chiemelie Ezeobi
Celebrities and influencers alike on Thursday continued their second day of protests in their clamour to end the pernicious activities of operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
Led by popular musicians Douglas Agu a.k.a Runtown and Folarin Falana popularly known as Falz, son of human rights activist, Femi Falana, the protesters stormed the streets of Lagos Island.
Other celebrities include television favourite, Tomike Alayande; ex-Big Brother Nigerian housemates, Prince Enwerem and Elozonam Ogbolu (the Cliffhanger), and so many others.
Rejecting the touted reforms by the government and the police, the protesters posited that it had become a recurring decimal to promise reforms and not follow through.
Calling for a total obliteration of the police squad, the protesters converged on the grounds of Lekki Toll Gate before they first moved to Zone 2 Police Command Headquarters in Onikan.
They afterwards marched to protest at Lagos State Government House but met the absence of the governor.
Not deterred, the team leads – Falz and Runtown -vowed to return next week Tuesday if no considerable changes had been made.
Also on the mainland, the protesters led by some popular influencers continued their second day of protests from Ikeja Under Bridge.
Influencers like @SavvyRinu(Convener Operation Santize), @DannyWalta, @UnclePamilerin @TemiOanu, @Dehkunle with other protesters marched from Ikeja Under Bridge to Awolowo Road before rendezvousing at the State House of Assembly.
Also lending its voice to the clamour to end SARS, Amnesty International on their Twitter handle wrote, “SARS – a police unit created to protect Nigerians has instead become a danger to society, torturing its victims with complete impunity while fomenting a toxic climate of fear and corruption.
“Our research on SARS uncovered a pattern of ruthless human rights violations where victims are arrested and tortured until they either make a ‘confession’ or pay officers a bribe to be released.
“ Amnesty International has received reports and collected testimonies that some police officers in SARS regularly demand bribes, steal and extort money from criminal suspects and their families.
“ Because of the corruption in Nigerian police all Nigerian government’s previous attempts at stamping out torture have proven completely ineffective and clearly impossible.
“Apart from demanding bribes, SARS officers are accused of stealing or confiscating property from relatives of detained suspects.
“Families of detained suspects told Amnesty International that SARS officers stole their cars or withdrew all the money from their bank accounts. #EndSARSProtests.”