Senator says ‘SARS is used to intimidate politicians’ as Police blame politicians for #EndSARS/
Erstwhile police officer turned lawmaker representing Bauchi Central, Senator Isah Misau, says the officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, are used in the intimidation of politicians.
Nigerians had over the weekend used the social media to condemn the rights violations and “careless” disregard for human lives by SARS operatives. They went beyond the condemnation to creating #EndSARSNow, which has been trending on Twitter since then.
Victims, who used the social media to recount their experiences with SARS operatives, listed allegations of extra-judicial killings, wanton arrests and dispossession of properties through physical assault and other intimidation tactics.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, earlier on Tuesday stated that some “mischievous” politicians are behind the campaign for the scrapping of SARS, adding that the alleged originator of the hashtag, Jega Awosanya Segun, is under investigation, pointing out that he had links to some unnamed politicians.
Presenting the issue as a point of order on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, Misau said SARS has grown out of the authority of state police commissioners who are supposed to regulate their activities, adding that he had received petitions on the matter from his constituents.
The petition, Misau said, ranges from extra-judicial killings to brutality and torture. He pointed out that SARS is supposed to be under the police department of investigation and not operations.
His words, “Mr President if you go through social media, you will see that so many things are happening and there are a lot of petitions from my constituents and a lot of people who came and met me.
“According to the police act and regulation, the force criminal and investigation and intelligence department is the highest investigative arm of the police.
“The department is divided into 14 sections of which the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) is one of them. The SARS is supposed to be a section that handles robbery cases and answerable to the commissioner of police.
“In the last few months I have received several petitions from my constituents against SARS and it varies from extra-judicial killings, brutality and torture. The incidences are not isolated as many people have been sharing their experiences.
“Today, they are being controlled in the operation, the control is from the force headquarters which is not supposed to be, it supposed to be headed by a commissioner of police in the force CID.
“SARS is used to intimidate opponents and sometimes politicians. Sometimes you find that the federal SARS go to state and arrest people without making reference to the commissioner of police they bring them to Abuja and detain them.
“Mr President, we have to do something about SARS, it shouldn’t be under the operations department, it is supposed to be under investigation.”
Meanwhile, the upper legislative chamber has mandated its ad hoc committee on security to investigate the allegations of human rights abuse by SARS.
Earlier in an interview with Channels TV, the FPRO stated that SARS “is not a killing machine” as “it was created to deal with cases of robbery and any other case the offender carries firearm”.
“SARS is been doing very very well. We are not saying that there is no infraction, if there is an infrcation, not only on SARS personnel but conventional policemen – people should report to us.
“We want to disabuse their minds that SARS should be ended. But when you have complain, complain to us. For a lot of people pushing their remarks on social media, most of them are not correct.”
Moshood continued, "Somebody who had an ulterior motive put up #EndSARS, Nigerians should be mindful because the social media is very porous.
“We traced the hashtag and traced it to mischievous politicians that are trying to create problem in the system that SARS is a stumbling block for them to achieve objective in the election and we are investigating this.
“The owner of the hashtag is being investigated. We know freedom of expression is the right of every Nigerian and we are taking people up because of that.
“It is quite unfortunate, I’m not mentioning any name but this same Jega Awosanya Segun is the owner of the hastag and we have seen his picture with various crop of politicians and we are investigating that for Nigerians to know the reason why.”


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