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End SARS

The End Special Anti-Robbery Squad (END SARS) is an advocacy group opposing the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigerian Police Force.[1] The campaign started as a social media campaign using the hashtag #ENDSARS to demand for Nigeria's government to scrap and end the deployment of Nigeria Police Force Special Anti-Robbery Squad, popularly known as SARS.[2][3][4]

Nigerians have shared stories of how members of SARS engaged in unlawful arrests, high-handedness, humiliation, unlawful detention, and extortion. A petition signed by 10,195 people was submitted to Nigeria's National Assembly calling for scrapping of SARS.[5] In recent times, there has been talk of reforms of the force, instead of full disbandment.[6]

Protests and controversy

Moving the campaign from social media to the streets of Nigeria, the campaigners organized series of protests in Abuja,[7] The campaigners threatened to go on protest if the government fails to scrap SARS.[8]

The campaign generated controversies when the Nigeria Police Force Public Relations Officer Jimoh Moshood, accused the campaigners of being "criminals".[9] The Inspector General of Nigeria Police Force, Ibrahim K. Idris has ordered the reform and reorganization of SARS.[10]

Nigeria's Senate backed the call for scrapping SARS.[11]

Background

SARS is a branch of the Nigeria Police Force under the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID). The squad deals with crimes associated with armed robbery, car snatching, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and crimes associated to firearms. SARS officers carry guns, but do not wear Nigerian police uniforms, nor do they wear badges.

An international human right organization known as Amnesty International accused the officers of SARS of detaining young Nigerians illegally and extorting money from their relations.[2]

References

  1. ^ Kingsley, Omonobi (4 December 2017). "Anti-SARS campaign: IG orders investigation of anti-robbery squad". Vanguard Newspaper. Kingsley Omonobi & Joseph Erunke. Nigeria. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b Salaudeen, Aisha (15 December 2017). "Nigerians want police's SARS force scrapped". Aljazeera. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  3. ^ "End SARS as a Mob Project". Nigeria: Thisday Newspapers Limited. 17 December 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  4. ^ Ogundipe, Samuel (3 December 2017). "#EndSARS: Police mum as Nigerians recount atrocities of Special Anti-Robbery Squad". Nigeria: Premium Times. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  5. ^ Ibrahim, Mansur (3 December 2017). "Trending: Nigerians say 'enough is enough', it is time to #EndSARS". Nigeria: The Cable. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  6. ^ Salaudeen, Aisha (17 December 2017). "Nigerians want police's SARS force scrapped". Aljazeera. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  7. ^ Bella, Naija (11 December 2017). "#EndSARS: Nigerians take to the Streets in Protest". Bellanaija. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  8. ^ "'End SARS or we go protest for January 2018' - Nigerian youths". BBC Pidigin. BBC. 3 December 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  9. ^ Erunke, Joseph (3 December 2017). "#EndSARS: We won't scrap SARS, Police reply anti-SARS campaigners". Vanguard Newspaper. Nigeria. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  10. ^ Adewole, Kehinde (10 December 2017). "SARS reform is the best alternative to #EndSARS". Nigeria: The Cable. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  11. ^ Busari, Kemi (5 December 2017). "Senator backs calls for Police SARS scrapping". Nigeria: Premium Times. Retrieved 2 January 2018.

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