Calls grow for scrapping police investigation branch amid accusations of unlawful arrests, torture and even murder
SARS is a branch of the Nigerian police under the criminal investigating department (CID).
The CID is the highest investigating arm of the Nigerian police force.
Many states in Nigeria had a special force tackling violent crimes like kidnapping and armed robbery.
SARS developed from these different forces and now has a nationwide decree under Nigeria’s federal police force to confront violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and communal clashes.
Nigerian social media has recently been flooded with stories of indiscriminate arrests, torture and even murder by SARS operatives.
Today , the hashtag #ENDSARS is trending worldwide on social media.
The protesters stormed police headquarters across the country with placards inscribed with #Endsars, ‘Nigeria police stop killing us’, and ‘say no to brutal injustice’ among others.
The Nigeria Police Force is in desperate need of a reform, but so is our idea of power and the responsibilities that come with it. Our military past has not been very helpful, it shows in the way citizens relate with politicians — the one who should serve becomes the one who is served, the people answer to the politicians and not the other way around. This call to #EndSARS is the beginning of a long walk, one that will take decades of angry protests — from citizens who are fed up of being treated as less than they are — and systemic reforms. Police trainings and assessments need to be looked at and reinforced, the force needs more funding than it has gotten in the past, policemen have to become more professional and realise what is at stake if they’re not, erring police officers need to be sanctioned based on the gravity of their offences. A lot needs to be done, but it is good that a movement has begun.