The Nigerian Bar Association has condemned the serial breaches of the fundamental rights of Nigerians by officers of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and urged that the Police put in place demonstratable measures to ensure proper enforcement and monitoring of the new directives.
This was disclosed by the president-elect of the association, Mr. Olumide Akpata in a statement on Friday. He said the NBA welcomes the new directive by the IGP banning SARS from patrols. “However note that there had been previous statements following similar agitations but without appreciable changes,” he said.
The @NigBarAssoc (NBA) condemns unequivocally the brazen & serial breaches of the fundamental rights of Nigerians, including the right to life, by officers of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) a specialist unit of the @PoliceNG and other security agencies. pic.twitter.com/4PCAalJKOc
— Olumide Akpata (@OlumideAkpata) October 9, 2020
Recall Nairametrics reported that The Inspector-General of Police, M.A Adamu, had banned the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Force including the Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad operating at the Federal, Zonal and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols.
The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo also said President Muhammadu Buhari wants to see reforms in the Nigerian Police force.
The Speaker of the House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila announced this week said that the House will draft new legislation to establish a system of accountability for the Nigerian police.
In today’s statement, Akpata said: “It is therefore of utmost importance that this time around it should not be business as usual. The Nigerian police leadership must put in place demonstratable measures to ensure proper enforcement and monitoring of the new directives. The raison d’etre of government is the welfare and protection of the people. It is for this purpose that people have surrendered some of their freedom to the State in exchange for the protection of their rights and maintenance of social order.”
He added that the Police was entrusted with the protection of the people, and has constituted itself into a source of constant terror especially to young Nigerians.
“The actions of FSARS are both inconsistent with the social contract which the people have with the government and are also in flagrant disregard of the Police Establishment Act and all our laws including the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999,” Apata said.
He further disclosed that the NBA calls on the Presidency and Legislature to monitor and enforce compliance of SARS. He stated, “As such, the NBA calls on the President of Nigeria, the National Assembly and the IGP to reign in on FSARS once and for all, strictly monitor and enforce the current directives, and put an end to the flagrant abuse and extrajudicial killings of Nigerians by these officers. The NBA is also willing to collaborate with Civil Rights Organisations and Advocacy Groups to deal with this menace and we shall deploy our human and material resources in this regard.”