From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Police said it would investigate all complaints and allegations against the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
It has also assured that any officer indicted for human rights abuses and professional misconduct would be sanctioned and dismissed from service.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations) Joshak Habila, gave the assurance when he addressed protesters led by Deputy National Chairman, Police Community Relations Committee, Sanusi Ajiya, who marched to the force headquarters, Abuja from the Eagle Square in support of the SARS on Monday.
Habila noted that the complaints against SARS, which is all over the social media were being compiled by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood for further investigation and action.
He assured the protesters that all the allegations against the SARS operatives would be probed and necessary action taken against errant operatives.
According to him, “All allegations against SARS will be investigated, they are being put together by the Force Public Relations Officer. The reason we are doing this is because we believe SARS has something to offer, but anyone found wanting will be taken out of the force.
He said: “The Police Community Relations Committee has been telling us some of the wrongs we did and today they say they won’t want SARS to be thrown away. The IG is rebranding SARS. Those that have violated peoples’ rights or killed won’t go unpunished,” he assured.
In his address, the leader of the protest group, said SARS has done well in tackling armed robbery, kidnap, car snatching and other violent crimes, and called for its total reform to strengthen the unit for optimal and better performance.
According to him, the misdeeds of a few in the unit was not enough reason to scrap the squad even as he called on the public to support the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, in repositioning the unit as he earlier promised.
Meanwhile, a coalition of civil society groups has issued a 21-day ultimatum for the scrapping of the SARS.
The group #EndSARS coalition which staged a protest at the Unity Fountain, in Abuja, also demanded for full investigation into allegations against SARS operatives and prosecution of indicted personnel.
Leader and Convener of the group, Segun Awosanya, urged the Police Service Commission (PSC), to urgently set up a panel to reform the Nigeria Police, saying that the agenda must include provisions for training of police officers, better equipment and firearms including welfare-housing, insurance, prompt payment of salaries and pension.