OrderPaperToday – In view of the public outcry of the brutality and victimization meted to citizens by the Special Armed Robbery Squad (SARS), Nigerians have called on the National Assembly to ensure the scrapping of the police unit.
This is as Sen. Isa Misau (APC, Bauchi) equally lamented that politicians are not left out of the intimidation by the dreaded squad.
In an opinion poll conducted by OrderPaper Nigeria in respect to the #EndSARS campaign which has trended on social media for some days, 60% of Twitter users agreed that the National assembly should set the wheels in motion by compelling the police to end SARS.
39% of the respondents however, called for the reform of the squad while 1% does not have an idea of what SARS is. The poll which ran for 24 hours, was conducted online and had a total of 184 votes.
Meanwhile, in the Senate on Tuesday, Misau noted that one of the major causes for the ill treatment by SARS operatives is as a result of inappropriate chain of command.
According to him, SARS is meant to be answerable to the Commissioner of police in each state but are being controlled from the force headquarters in Abuja.
He said: “Mr President if you go through social media, you will see that so many things are happening and there are a lot of petitions from my constituents and a lot of people who came and met me.
“According to the Police Act and regulations, the force criminal and investigation and intelligence department is the highest investigative arm of the police.
“The department is divided into 14 sections of which the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is one of them. The SARS is supposed to be a section that handles robbery cases and answerable to the Commissioner of Police.”
He continued: “In the last few months I have received several petitions from my constituents against SARS and it varies from extra-judicial killings, brutality and torture. The SARS is used to intimidate opponents and sometimes politicians are not spared as many people have been sharing their experiences.
“Today, SARS are being controlled from the force headquarters which is not supposed to be, it supposed to be headed by a commissioner of police in the force CID.
“Sometimes you find that the federal SARS go to state and arrest people without making reference to the commissioner of police they bring them to Abuja and detain them. Mr. President if we don’t put SARS where it belongs – we have to do something about SARS; SARS, shouldn’t be under the operations department, it is supposed to be under investigation.”
Senate President Bukola Saraki mandated that an ad hoc committee earlier empanelled to restructure the security architecture of the country to investigate the allegations of human rights abuses by SARS.