ABUJA-(MaraviPost)-Nigeria’s dreaded police formation, Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) has been dissolved following mass protest across the country and several other parts of the world.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu made the announcement on Sunday afternoon, October 11, 2020 during a press conference at the force headquarters in Abuja.
The unit that was formed in 1992 to combat cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, and other violent crimes had been accused of continued use of force to enforce the law including gunning down people and robbing people upon failure to meet their demands.
A week ago, #EndSARS hashtag went viral on social media following the alleged killing of a young man by officers from the Sars unit which led to numerous stories emerging attributed to the brutal treatment of the police unit towards civilians.
In his initial response to the ongoing allegations, Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari wrote on his official twitter page that he was determined to reform the police following his meeting with the Inspector-General of Police and that the reforms aimed at putting an end to police brutality and their unethical conduct.
However on Thursday October 8, Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer Runtown and Falz lead Nigerians on the streets in a peaceful protest against police brutality and called for complete disbandment of the Sars unit of the Nigerian police.
On Friday, hundreds of youths gathered in Ikeja in central Lagos on holding banners reading “respect for human rights” and “a more equal society” and in Abuja, dozens of protesters including the activist Aisha Yesufu also gathered although their peaceful march was halted by police forces who used tear gas to disperse protesters.
During the fracas between police and the protestors, young Nigerian man Jimoh Isiaq was shot before he was taken Bowen University Teaching Hospital where he died after Nigerian police opened fire on the protesters in Ogbomoso according to The Guardian Nigeria news report.
This ignited reactions of several other Nigerian youths and celebrities including Rema, Burna Boy and Davido, who had been outside the country at the time but landed to participate in the protest in Abuja.
Another Nigerian popular Afrobeat singer Ayo Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid led the protest in London and several other celebrities across the continent including Chance The Rapper, Mesut Ozil, John Boyega and Drake joined the protest to put an end to SARS brutality and their criminal activities.
On Sunday, Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba in a statement said the operatives will be redeployed to other police formations and commands and a new policing arrangement for tackling armed robbery and other violent activities will subsequently be introduced
The statement added that investigation team including civil society organizations will probe into all accusations presented before them immediately and the culprits will be punished accordingly.