Falana, Oyebode, others call for SARS restructuring

Professor of International Law, Akin Oyebode; and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, are among those who have called for the restructuring of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.

SARS has frequently been accused of indiscriminately arresting, maiming, extorting money and even killing Nigerians, especially the youth.

More recently, members of the squad were accused of killing a youth named Kolade Johnson in the Onipetesi area of Lagos while watching an English Premier League football match at a viewing centre.

Johnson’s murder sparked an outrage, with many Nigerians tweeting the hashtag #ENDSARS to end the squad’s inhuman activities.

However, at a three-day training workshop organised by the Coalition for Good Governance and Justice in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, Falana, Oyebode, as well as human rights activists Mr Olasupo Ojo, Mrs Gloria Egbuji and Mr Debo Adeniran, said rather than an outright disbandment of SARS, it should be restructured.

According to a statement, the Monday-to-Wednesday workshop was organised in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Force for officers and men of the Akwa Ibom Police Command.

In their separate presentations, the guest speakers called for caution in the campaign to end SARS.

In his paper titled, ‘The rule of law between SARS and armed robbers: Case for adherence to rule of law and constitutionally guaranteed rights by officers and men of SARS department,’ Oyebode noted that since its creation, SARS had been in the news more for bad reason than good.

However, given its relative achievements and usefulness in fighting armed robbery and sundry crimes, Oyebode said, “There is the need to strike a utilitarian balance between efforts of the squad to wage war against criminals and anti-social elements without doing grave damage and injustice to the tenets of rule of law, good governance and social wellbeing.”

Similarly, Falana, while speaking on the theme, ‘Continuous relevance of SARS under the current democratic dispensation,’ said rather than disband SARS, its operatives should be continuously trained, equipped and motivated.

Human rights lawyer, Ojo, who is the Executive Director, Centre for the Rule of Law, advised the police and particularly SARS operatives to understand and successfully apply their training in human rights to their career.

Another guest speaker, Egbuji, while presenting a paper titled, ‘Promoting democracy through law-abiding and law enforcement officials,’ noted that the police could only promote democracy when they respect the laws and know the limit of their power.

Human rights activist, Adeniran, pointed out that underfunding, lack of proper training and motivation had led to the proliferation of several anti-corruption agencies.

In his goodwill message, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, called on the police to always be on the alert to judge their behaviours within and outside the public space as they carry out their duties as law enforcement agents.

In his welcome address, the Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Zaki Ahmed, said the training was imperative, going by the situation prevalent in the country at the moment.

One of the facilitators and representative of the Coalition for Good Governance and Justice, Mr Raji Oyewumi, said the non-governmental organisation chose to champion human rights education for the police, particularly officers and men of SARS in the light of the accusation of human rights abuse levelled against them.

No fewer than 200 officers and men of SARS, anti-cultism, anti-kidnapping and other units of the command were said to have participated in the programme.
Share on Google Plus

About Brandinfo

BrandInfo is an online newspaper that has been specially packaged to dish out exclusive, robust and current information about brands. For inquiries, please call +234 708 967 2875
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment