Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said he is concerned and angry that young men and women, who are arrested, are in some cases, maimed or killed by men of the Nigeria Police Force.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement, said the Vice President expressed this view yesterday in Abuja.
The Inspector-General of Police (IG-P), Mohammed Adamu, had yesterday banned the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), the Special Tactical Squad (STS) and Intelligence Response Team (IRT) from undertaking routine patrols as well as stop and search duties.
The Vice President, who had earlier, held a meeting with the I-G at his residence, said the President and himself had discussed the matter on a number of occasions.
He said that the President was displeased about reports on activities of FSARS and was resolved to ensure reforms.
“Such violations are completely unacceptable because these are individuals who are meant to protect Nigerians.
“The arrest, maiming or killing of young people or anyone at all, is completely wrong.
“It is unlawful and illegal and anyone involved in this act ought to be investigated and prosecuted.
“Today, I had a meeting with the I-G and we reviewed several of these issues.
“The President is very concerned about it; he wants to see a reform.
“You are probably aware that the I-G has issued a statement looking at all these issues, in particular, the warning against the use of these tactical units such as SARS for purposes of doing anything other than anti-robbery.
“For example, he specifically said that you cannot have a situation where SARS says they are investigating cybercrime by arresting young men and women carrying their laptops and phones.
“Cybercrime is an electronic crime.
“I don’t see how you can investigate that by seizing people’s phones in a taxi or in their cars,” Osinbajo said.
He said it was obvious that a few bad eggs in the Police were causing all of the problems because it was all over the place, in different states.
Osinbajo said that the I-G’s statement, banning FSARS and others, was the first step.
“He has said clearly that police men must wear police uniforms.
“You cannot say that because you belong to a tactical unit, you can dress in your casual clothing and be armed.”
By dressing casually, the vice president said that people “can’t even tell the difference between robbers and the police if you are not properly dressed in police uniform.
“So, clearly, a reform is in the offing”.
“So, I will like to encourage civil society activists, young men and women, who bring this regularly, by the way, to the attention of government and the police.
Osinbajo also said that activism was important because “they have been able to bring a lot of these issues to the attention of the Police and government.
“And that is an important part of the process of the reform”. (NAN)
Omo-Agege Condemns Atrocities of SARS
The Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, has expressed dismay over the alleged atrocious activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Police in Delta.
Omo-Agege gave the expression in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga in Abuja yesterday.
He expressed concern over the alleged incessant cases of extrajudicial killings and harassment of defenceless citizen by men of SARS.
He also expressed worry that some officials attached to SARS in different parts of Nigeria were harassing defenceless citizens.
Specifically, the Deputy President of the Senate cited the alleged shooting of a man by operatives of SARS in his constituency in Ughelli, Delta for alleged refusal to allow the operatives to search his phone.
According to him, there is another shooting of a youth in the town by men of the ‘Operation Delta Safe’ over the victim’s alleged refusal to also allow the operatives to search his phone.
This, Omo-Agege said, buttress his argument on the need for comprehensive reforms and overhaul of security units in the country.
The senator called on the police authorities to fish out the culprits for the prosecution to serve as deterrent to others.
While calling on security personnel to always maintain the rules of engagement, the lawmaker urged youth in the area to exercise utmost restraint while investigation is ongoing.
“Those who are authorised to carry arms and maintain law and order in the country ought to understand that such must be exercised with responsibility, especially when human life is sacrosanct.
“I hope those, who are quick at pulling the trigger, would adopt strategies that would foster mutual understanding between them and those they are tasked to protect.
“It would be a depressing twist of fate for them to be listed among those contributing to the list of the dead in this challenging period globally,” Omo-Agege said. (NAN)