One Killed As SARS, Robbers Exchange Gunfire In Lagos

A file photo of a SARS operative in Lagos.

 

A middle age man was killed in an early morning gunfight between operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and suspected robbers in Lagos.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, confirmed this in a statement sent to Channels Television on Monday.

According to him, the security operatives were on their way to recover weapons being used by a gang of suspected criminals before they were ambushed in Ilupeju axis of the state.

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The statement said, “On 15th July, 2019 at about 7:30am, SARS Operatives led by Insp Mohammed Akeem while being led by a notorious gang leader Ikechukwu Monye ‘m’ 39 years old, to where their arms are kept, were ambushed by members of the gang along Ajisegiri Street Ilupeju.”

Elkana explained that the assailants shot sporadically and in the process killed the victim who was only passing by.

He said reinforcement was quickly drafted to the scene while the whole area was cordoned off to apprehend the members of the gang and bring them to justice.

“Ilupeju has experienced violent attacks between members of Aiye and Eiye confraternities who equally engaged in heinous crimes such as armed robbery, rape and murder.

“The gang in question is responsible for series of robberies within Ilupeju and environ,” the command’s spokesman added.

He disclosed that the suspects have been on the wanted list of the police for the murder of six people during three robbery operations.

Elkana warned that the command would not condone the killing of innocent people by criminals in the state.

He also said the police would not tolerate attacks on its personnel and vowed to bring an end to the activities of the gang.

He asked members of the public to remain calm, noting that the command has intensified patrols and surveillance in the affected areas.

The command’s spokesman condoled with the family of the deceased and assured them that justice would prevail.

He said the body of the victim has been deposited at the mortuary for post mortem examination.

Four Major Recommendations By The Special Panel On SARS

Members of the special committee on Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Reform meet with the President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja today and made some recommendations.

The eight-member panel was constituted by the National Human Rights Commission to investigate allegations of human rights violations and abuse of office against the special anti-robbery squad.

Mr Anthony Ojukwu, secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) led the delegation into the meeting which was held behind closed doors.

Below are four major recommendations made by the panel following its public hearing.

1. The panel recommended that 37 police officers be dismissal from the force.

2. A recommendation was also made for 24 officers to be prosecuted.

3. The panel also directed the Inspector General of police to unravel the identity of 22 officers involved in the violation of the human rights of innocent citizens.

4. They also recommended a renaming of the Special anti-robbery squad (SARS) to Anti robbery section (ARS) which was its original name and to make the section operate under the intelligence arm of the police from the divisional, area, state and zonal command up to the Force headquarters level.

The report and recommendations of the panel have since been submitted to President Buhari.

Police Arrest Officers, Declare Inspector Wanted Over Shooting Of Youths In Apapa

Arrested Officers

 

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested five members of the Trinity Police Station allegedly involved in the shooting of two youths in the Olodi Apapa area of the state.

In a statement by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, the officers are being detained on the orders of the Commissioner of Police, Mr Zubairu Mu’azu, while an Inspector of Police has been declared wanted in connection with the incident.

One of the victims, 20-year old Ada Ifeanyi reportedly died on the spot, while her friend 32-year old Emmanuel Okomafuwa is receiving treatment from the injuries he suffered as a result of the shooting.

Police Inspector declared wanted

Members of the team suspected to be involved in the shooting are from Trinity Police Station and are currently facing internal disciplinary proceedings at the Command Headquarters Ikeja.

The statement further adds that, “Their Rifles have been retrieved for forensic analysis by Ballisticians. If found wanting, they will be prosecuted in conventional Court for Murder.

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“The Policemen arrested are (1) Inspector Adamu Usman (2) Sergeant Adeyeye Adeoye (3) Sergeant Kashim Tijani (4) Sergeant Lucky Akigbe and (5) Sergeant Paul Adeoye while Inspector Dania Ojo who escaped immediately after the shooting incident is declared wanted by the Command.

“Lagos State Police Command condemned in total these senseless killings of unarmed civilians by few ‘bad eggs ‘ in the Command, who are bend towards denting the image and reputation of the Nation’s Police Force. The Command will not relent in its efforts in ridding the force of these criminal elements.

“Those involved in extrajudicial killings and abuse of power are promptly identified, isolated, tried through internal disciplinary proceedings, dismissed from service and prosecuted in conventional Courts.

“Within the last month, Lagos State Police Command has dismissed four Policemen for abuse of power and conducts unbecoming of Police Officers and awarded the various degree of punishments to 41 others”.

The command noted that four dismissed Policemen were charged to Court and remanded in prison custody. “Our collective resolve in building a more humane, professional, dedicated, courageous and people-oriented Police Force is a task that must be done and together we can make it a reality.

“The Commissioner of Police extends the Command’s deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ada Ifeanyi and promised to foot the medical bills of Emmanuel Akomafuwa.

“The CP calls for calm as the Command will leave no stone untouched in ensuring that Justice prevails”.

 

‘Senate Remains Committed To Passage Of #PoliceReformBill’, Saraki Reacts To Killing Of Kolade Johnson

 

The President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, has said that the 8th Senate remains committed to the Police Reform Bill. 

Senate Saraki made this comment as part of a series of tweets in reaction to the killing of Kolade Johnson by alleged SARS operatives.

The Senate President said, “My heartfelt prayers are with the family and friends of Kolade Johnson, the young football fan who was allegedly killed by men of the Nigerian Police in Mangoro/Onipetesi community in Lagos.

“Issues like the senseless killings, assault and extortion of everyday Nigerians by some ‘bad apples’ in the Police Force is what prompted @NGRSenate to introduce and fast-track the progression of the #PoliceReformBill.

“I have also been in contact with the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs and I am pleased to announce that the Report of the #PoliceReformBill will be laid by next week Tuesday.

“Make no mistake, the 8th Senate remains committed to the passage of the #PoliceReformBill to ensure that our Police Force is more efficient and responsive to the needs of all Nigerians.”

Channels Television had earlier reported that Kolade Johnson was reportedly shot accidentally by SARS officers who had been pursuing another man at the football viewing center.

Reports suggest that Kolade Johnson was hit by a stray bullet when SARS officers tried to disperse a crowd during an operation to arrest another man.

There has been a public outcry over the killing, with thousands of people using the #EndSARS social media hashtag in the past 24 hours.

The Police has, however, come out to say that they have arrested a team of personnel allegedly involved in the killing, claiming that the officers were not of the SARS unit, but of the Anti Cultism unit.

Police spokesperson, Mr. Bala Elkana, confirmed this in a statement on Monday.

Elkana noted that the police personnel involved in the killing will be subjected to internal disciplinary procedures and may be prosecuted in conventional court if implicated by the ongoing investigation.

He further said that the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Mr Zubairu Muazu, has called for calm on the part of the residents.

According to him, the police commissioner assured Nigerians that justice will prevail in the case and condoled with the family, friends, and well-wishers of the victim.

We Are Treating Kolade Johnson’s Killing As Homicide – Police

We Are Treating Kolade Johnson’s Killing As Homicide – Police

 

The Nigeria Police Force has confirmed the death of one Kolade Johnson.

The Head of Police Complaint Response Unit (CRU), Mr Abayomi Shogunle, confirmed this in a tweet on Monday.

The victim was alleged to have been shot by a member of a police team while he was watching a televised football match in Lagos on Sunday.


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Shogunle, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, explained that Johnson died as a result of “excessive use of force.”

He, however, said the Lagos State Police Command was treating the case as a homicide and would brief the public soon.

Johnson’s death has sparked widespread criticism, with a renewed call on the Federal Government to end the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) unit of the police.

In its reaction, Amnesty International said the Nigerian Justice system has failed to curb the excesses of the unit.

It, however, called for a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to Johnson’s killing and that the offenders must be brought to justice.

See the tweet below:

#EndSARS: This Evil Act Has Been Endured For Long, SARS Must Leave Us – Nigerians React

 

The tragedy which struck on Olu Aboderin Street, Onipetesi area of Lagos State, on Sunday has stirred protests across social media, with Nigerians demanding the end of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit.

SARS operatives from the Lagos State Police Command allegedly shot and killed a young man identified as Kolade Johnson.

Reports suggest that operatives stormed an eatery in the area to arrest a man, who was watching a live English Premiership League football match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

Sources said the victim who was a friend of the man to be arrested, challenged the operatives on why they would cart away his friend and one of the SARS operatives allegedly shot him dead.

Angry youths took to the streets in protest of the killing.

They blocked the two sides of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and set up bonfires, causing traffic gridlock in the process.

The protest did not, however, stop on the streets, as many Nigerians, groups, and organizations took to social media to protest and seek redress for the killing.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Nigerian Justice System Has Failed To Prevent, Punish Torture – Amnesty International

Below are some of the reactions by various Nigerians, as drawn from Twitter.

 

Amnesty International Demands Release Of Activist Maryam Awaisu

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Amnesty International has demanded the unconditional release of author and human rights activist Maryam Awaisu.

Awaisu, one of the leaders of the #ArewaMeToo movement, which is seeking justice for victims of sexual harassment, was reportedly arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in her office in Kaduna on Tuesday.

A statement by the Media Manager of AI Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, said the arrest appeared to be an attempt to intimidate her and supporters of the movement.

“Authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Maryam Aiwasu who has done nothing more than speaking up for women’s rights,” Osai Ojigho Director Amnesty International was quoted as saying.

“Her arrest appears to be an attempt to intimidate and harass both her and other women supporting #AreweMeToo – a movement seeking justice for victims of sexual violence in Nigeria.”

Ojigho added, “While arresting Maryam, the police attempted to gain access to her laptop and mobile phone by force; this is clearly an effort to access the sensitive evidence she and other human rights defenders have been gathering to seek justice for victims of sexual violence.”

For the Amnesty International Director, the arrest is unacceptable as it might prevent victims of sexual violence from seeking justice.

“Maryam and the other brave human rights defenders working with the #AreweMeToo movement must not be silenced or punished for the vital work they do,” he said.

“For too long, Nigeria’s women have been facing various kinds of sexual violence that seldom receives proper attention from the country’s law enforcement agencies.

“It is unacceptable that women working on behalf of these victims are subjected to such arrest and intimidation, and we fear that these actions may prevent victims of sexual violence from pursuing justice.”

Dino Melaye Moved To Police Clinic From SARS HQ

 

Senator Dino Melaye has been rushed to a police clinic in Garki Area 1 of Abuja, after he was arrested and taken to SARS Headquarters. 

A police officer who was part of the team that arrested the lawmaker in his Abuja residence on Friday confirmed the case’s latest development.

The officer said Senator Melaye is currently on bed rest as the police determine their next line of action.

He said the police’s expectation is that as soon as the lawmaker recovers, he will return to detention.

The Siege Ends

The siege on Senator Dino Melaye’s residence in Abuja by the police finally came to an end after eight days.

The lawmaker, who represents Kogi West constituency, opened the door to the residence himself on Friday afternoon in the presence of police operatives and some senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While coming out of the house, Senator Melaye slumped to the floor and was later assisted onto his feet.

He was thereafter taken to the office of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) in Guzape, Abuja.

Police Dismiss FSARS Operative Accused Of Extorting N5,000 From Woman

Police Dismiss FSARS Operative Accused Of Extorting N5,000 From Woman
Charles Omotosho

 

The police have dismissed an operative of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Inspector Charles Omotosho, over an allegation of extortion.

The Force Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) revealed this in a series of tweets on Friday, three months after Omotosho was arrested for the offence.

READ ALSO: SARS Operative Arrested For Extorting N5,000 From Woman

His dismissal was approved by the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 2, Lagos, Ibrahim Adamu, following a review of the Orderly Room proceedings, the PCRRU added.

According to the unit, Omotosho was found guilty of the anti-corruption laws of the police while his uniforms and identity card have since been retrieved from him.

The police also demoted other accomplices of the dismissed inspector, whose identities were not disclosed, from the rank of sergeant to corporal.

Photo: Twitter/ @PoliceNG_PCRRU

 

Omotosho was apprehended in May for allegedly arresting a lady in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, after which he was said to have forcefully collected N5,000 from the victim.

The police said he was immediately removed from front-line duties and taken into custody after the dismissed officer was identified to have committed the crime.

‘Police Are Working’, Nigerians React To SARS Operative's Arrest Over Extortion
Dismissed police officer, Inspector Charles Omotosho, holding a copy of his statement of bank account which confirms the alleged extortion of N5,000.

 

A screenshot of the complaint as received by the Police PCRRU via Twitter

SARS Overhaul: Operatives To Wear Uniform, Restricted To Robbery, Kidnap Cases

SARS Operatives To Wear Uniform, Restricted To Robbery, Kidnap Cases

 

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has ordered operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) to wear police uniforms with full identification.

A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Jimoh Moshood, on Friday said the personnel are to comply with the directive pending the launch of a new uniform for the squad.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo Orders Immediate Overhaul Of SARS

The police boss gave the directive at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja while highlighting the progress made by the police in the overhaul of the squad, in line with a presidential directive.

Mr Idris, who was represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), Mr Habila Joshak, stressed that the overhaul of SARS was beyond rhetoric and that real reform was taking place.

He disclosed that among other things, Federal SARS operatives would no longer attend to civil and commercial matters again, but strictly to armed robbery and kidnap cases only.

In his remarks, the newly appointed Commissioner of Police Federal SARS, Mr Habiru Gwandu, informed the gathering of the creation of a Human Rights Desk in every state of the Federation.

He said the establishment was to note and address cases of infractions against members of the public by FSARS personnel anywhere in the country, in collaboration with other human rights organisations.

Presidential Order: IGP Overhauls SARS, Appoints New Commanders

Mr Gwandu revealed that the police have involved the services of psychologists and counsellors in the ongoing screening of FSARS operatives.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP’s X-Squad, Mr Amaechi Elumelu, also briefed the gathering on the screening and mobilisation of FSARS operatives.

He said it would not be business as usual any longer, as those intending to join the squad would go through rigorous orientation, human rights training, and other screening processes that would include evaluating their previous records on human rights.

Mr Elumelu announced the setting up of the Custody Records Management System which he said would soon be unveiled by the IGP.

He said the system would contain the records of arrests, detentions and welfare details of suspects, adding that it would discourage arbitrary arrest of people and ensure that suspects were charged to court within 24 hours according to the law.

Reacting to the development, a social media activist, Mr Segun Awosanya, who spearheaded the #ENDSARS Campaign, thanked the President for ordering the overhaul of SARS.

He described the government as a listening one and called for trust between Nigerians and the police.

“If it is well with the police, it is well with the nation,” said Awosanya who promised to support the Force in the reform process.

SARS Overhaul Is Positive But Reforms Must Be Robust – Amnesty International

Death Sentence: Over 600 Killed, 2,285 On Row In Nigeria – Amnesty International

 

Human rights organisation Amnesty International has lauded the presidential directive to overhaul the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

A statement by the organisation’s Media Manager, Isa Sanusi, on Tuesday quoted its Director in Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, as saying the directive was proof that the growing outcry over the brutality of SARS had finally caught the attention of the country’s authorities.

Ojigho, however, stressed that although the move was a step in the right direction, the reforms must be robust to have any effect.

“This is an overdue yet hugely important move by Acting President Osinbajo. The growing outcry over the brutality of Nigeria’s notorious SARS police unit has finally got the attention of the country’s authorities.

“While this is positive news, it is crucial that any overhaul of SARS is far-reaching and immediately effective.

“Restructuring SARS is not enough unless the government takes concrete steps to protect Nigerians,” Ojigho said.


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According to him, the reforms must translate into ending the torture, unlawful detention, extortion, extrajudicial killings and other serious human rights violations which SARS has been accused of.

“The reform ordered by the Acting President must translate into ending the torture, unlawful detention, extortion, extrajudicial killings and other serious human rights violations that SARS officers have been committing for years across Nigeria. That includes bringing to justice SARS officers found to have committed atrocities,” he said.

“There is much compelling public evidence of human rights violations committed by SARS, some of it directly documented by Amnesty International, and this should now be used to aid an effective investigation into the unit’s crimes”.

The Amnesty International director also asked that the special panel convened to investigate SARS must be independent and impartial.

As part of the overhaul, SARS has now been renamed Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), with a new commissioner of police appointed to head the unit.

Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, announced the changes in a statement on Tuesday, hours after Acting President Yemi Osinbajo ordered the immediate overhaul of the unit.