A recent report by Amnesty International has it that Nigeria Police, particularly the unit called Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is still applying brutal force, maiming and extrajudicial killing as means of extracting statements and ‘confession’ from suspected criminals.
The international watchdog also stated that operatives of SARS use power of coercion to extort victims who are detained for weeks in some cases.
According to the Amnesty report, it has documented at least 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment, and extra-judicial executions by SARS between January 2017 and May 2020, adding that the victims are predominantly males between the ages of 18 and 35, from low-income backgrounds and vulnerable groups.
The statement which was signed by Amnesty International Nigeria’s Director, Osai Ojigho, had it that “The complete failure of Nigerian authorities to bring an end to the gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad or to bring any SARS officer to justice is shocking and unacceptable.
“Nigerians are outraged by the systemic human rights violations perpetrated by the SARS with impunity. The systemic use of torture and other ill-treatment by SARS officers for police investigations and the continued existence of torture chambers within the Nigerian Police Force points to an absolute disregard for international human rights laws and standards.”