Disbandment SARS Laced with Insincerity, Amnesty International Alleges

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Osai-Ojigho

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Despite the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) yesterday, Amnesty International has said decision was laced with insincerity

A statement issued by its Nigeria Director, Mrs Osai Ojigho, said the disbandment fell short of demands for accountability and justice for abuses committed by the unit and the police in general.

She added that the decision must be supported by addressing the underlying issues that allowed impunity to thrive.

Ojigho advised that for a sustainable and long lasting change, the police authorities must provide unhindered access to SARS and other police detention centres by oversight bodies such as Police Service Commission (PSC), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), as well as lawyers and human rights defenders.

“Today’s announcement by the IG disbanding the infamous SARS falls short of demands for accountability and justice for abuses committed by the unit and the police in general.

“Disbanding SARS must be supported by addressing the underlying issues that allowed impunity to thrive.

“For sustainable and long lasting change the police authorities must take the following steps: Immediate and unhindered access to SARS and other police detention centers by oversight bodies such as Police Service Commission, National Human Rights Commission, as well as lawyers and human rights defenders.

“Immediate investigation and prosecution of all police officers who have been accused of grave human rights violations such as extra judicial executions, torture, and other ill-treatment.

“ A clear and concise timeline for the implementation of the reforms to end police atrocities is key to safeguarding trust between Nigerians and the authorities.”