The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Sunday urged the National Assembly to commence an inquest into the reported reappearance of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the South-East.
The call followed claims by residents of Imo State that armed police operatives wearing SARS uniforms were harassing residents of Owerri, the state capital.
In a statement issued by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA queried why the National Assembly is yet to begin investigations on the reports.
The body asked the parliament to summon the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, on the matter.
The statement read: “We are asking the National Assembly to summon the Inspector-General of Police to explain to Nigerians why he decided to unban SARS which was banned with the authorisation of President Muhammadu Buhari following widespread allegations of professional misconduct against the operatives including the extensive use of extralegal execution against detainees in the custody of the Nigerian Police Force.
“It is therefore incongruous and unacceptable that the security forces sent to the South-East and South-South have continuously breached the fundamental human rights of the Igbo/Niger Delta youths and are arbitrarily arresting, detaining, and using extrajudicial executions as tactics of law enforcement.
“Now the innocent youths wrongly arrested and detained in the harshest of conditions in the notoriously uninhabitable cells of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Abuja are subjected to the ordeals of extortion and psychological and physical torture all in an efforts to get their relatives to part with huge amounts as bribes for bail. This is totally primitive and despicable.”
The police authorities disbanded the controversial tactical squad following weeks of protests by youths in October last year.
By: Mayowa Oladeji
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