Senate Probes SARS Alleged Human Rights Abuses

The Senate on Tuesday mandated its Ad Hoc Committee on Security to probe allegations of human rights abuses against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigeria Police Force.

The move was sequel to a Point-of-Order raised by Senator Isa Misau (APC-Bauchi) during plenary.

 Misau said that under the Police Act and regulation, the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (Force CID) was the highest investigative arm of the Nigerian police.

“For effective and efficient administration, the department is divided into 14 sections for which the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, is one of them.

“The squad is supposed to be a section in each state command, with sole responsibility of handling armed robbery cases and answerable to the commissioner for police.

“I have in the last few months received petitions from my constituency, both online and physically, against SARS on violence from extra-judicial killing, brutality, torture, arrest, bribery and other menacing conduct by the men of the unit.”

The lawmaker said that findings had shown that the incidents were not isolated as many people had been sharing their experiences on social media.

He urged his colleagues to take a major decision to end SARS to make way for a more civilised unit that would be built around the rule of law and human rights observance.

“I call on this chamber to mandate the ad hoc committee on security to investigate this issue of human rights abuses by SARS and make relevant recommendations.”

The motion was seconded by Senator Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi).

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